Feb. 13, 2014
Shields Impressive in Pro Debut
By Jim McGrady
Two time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields (1-0) notched her first win as a pro last night, scoring a shut out decision over Franchon Crews (0-1) in a four round contest at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The bout was broadcast online and by select cable and satellite providers as part of the free-view portion of the nights pay per view card headlined by Andre Wards 12 round decision over Sergey Kovalev.
The amateur rivals put on a highly entertaining bout; Crews came out aggressive from the start, but was unable to match the speed and technical skill of Shields, who beat her to the punch repeatedly and never lost focus despite being shoved to the canvas twice. She took all four rounds on the judges’ scorecards resulting in a 40-36 decision across the board.
Give Crews credit where it’s due though, despite being outgunned and appearing winded at the fights mid-point, she never took a step back, and landed some solid punches but just couldn’t land the one big shot that could turn the fight around.
The two had faced off three times in the amateur ranks, with a 2012 win over Crews in the Olympic trials setting the stage for Shields to become American boxing’s first female gold medalist. She became the first American boxer to win back-to-back gold medals this summer in Rio when she defeated Nouchka Fontijn in the Olympic final.
Shields said she hopes to fight again in January or February.
Jim is one of the Tribunes original members and has been Involved in the sport for over 35 years as a competing amateur, fight collector, and computer fight simulator. Follow him on Twitter: @_GreenMachine_