Las Vegas, NV -- 21-year-old Claressa Shields made a her professional debut a successful one with a unanimous decision victory over Franchon Crews on the undercard of the light heavyweight bout of Kovalev-Ward.
The 2012 and 2016 Olympic gold medalist in women's boxing decided to turn pro after her successful Olympic runs and it appears that if anyone could revive women's boxing, it would be her.
And if her fight with Crews at the T-Mobile Arena was any indication, we've got a lot to look forward to.
Shields and Crews set a feverish pace from the beginning with both winging power shots at one another but Shields settled down and began to set up power shots behind the jab.
In the second round, the Olympic gold medalist took control and scored as Crews struggled to get inside. Shields continued to look for a knockout and torched Crews in the third round with a vicious combination that was punctuated by a left hook.
With the fans on their feet, Shields swung for the fences in the 4th and final round. Crews demonstrated a tremendous chin but not much else as Shields slammed a thunderous overhand right that clearly buzzed her opponent. Crews would manage to make it to the final bell but it was Shields who earned the decision with scores of 40-36 across the board.
"It feels so good to have just made my pro debut," Shields said afterward. "This is what I've been training for. I'm faster and I hit harder. And I'm the better fighter. But Crews brought 100% and I respect her for that. I hope to fight next in January or February."
Shields plans to fight ten times in 2017 and could be the lightening bolt that forces the mainstream to pay attention to women's boxing.