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WATCH: Two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields wins pro boxing debut

Claressa Shields from Flint celebrates a victory by decision in her professional boxing debut on November 19, 2016 in Las Vegas.
Screen grab from YouTube
Claressa Shields from Flint celebrates a victory by decision in her professional boxing debut on November 19, 2016 in Las Vegas.

(Watch a replay of the entire fight below)

After racking up a 77-1 record and becoming the first U.S. boxer to win two Olympic gold medals, Flint native Claressa Shields accomplished all she could as an amateur fighter. On Saturday night, Shields began her quest to conquer the professional boxing world with a win by unanimous decision in her debut. 

She defeated Franchon Crews in a four-round super middleweight fight in Las Vegas. Shields made her debut on the undercard for one of boxing's biggest fights of the year between Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward.  

It took a few minutes for Shields to get warmed up in the fight, but once she did, she landed the more powerful shots and made it an easy decision for all three judges who scored every round in her favor.

After it was over, Shields made it clear that she plans to be busy when it comes to her new job as a professional boxer.

More from the Associated Press:

"It's not what I wanted but to be called on, last minute, for a fight of this magnitude," Shields said. "I am proud of myself. We will fight again in the future." Both women were fighting without headgear for the first time but it didn't seem to be a factor as they traded punches freely before a sparse but appreciative crowd ... Shields was pushed to the canvas twice by Crews, who started strong but seemed to tire quickly. "It feels so good to have just made my pro debut," she said. "This is what I've been training for. I'm faster and I hit harder." Shields, from Flint, Michigan, weighed 167 pounds to 168 for Crews. The 21-year-old Shields said she plans to fight up to 10 times in her first year as a pro. Her goal is to one day headline a pay-per-view card of her own. "I believe 150 percent in my boxing ability," she said before the fight. "I know I'm a great fighter. I fight better than 90 percent of the men who box now. I just know that, and I'm not at my best yet."

Watch the entire fight below (begins at 1:19:20)


Josh Hakala, a lifelong Michigander (East Lansing & Edwardsburg), comes to Michigan Radio after nearly two decades of working in a variety of fields within broadcasting and digital media.
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