Claressa Shields, right, celebrates her gold-medal victory over Nouchka Fontijn of the Netherlands in Rio De Janeiro/Photo by Alex Livesey, Getty Images
Claressa Shields does not lack confidence, nor should she. Shields won back-to-back gold medals for Team USA in the 2012 London Games and 2016 Rio Games. Now she’s on the brink of turning pro.
Shields on Saturday will take on Franchon Crews in a super middleweight bout underneath the light heavyweight title fight between champion Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas (on HBO pay-per-view).
Shields worked out for reporters Monday in Las Vegas. She touched on many subjects, including her decision to take her talents to the professional ranks rather than go for a third gold medal.
“When deciding to go pro, I thought about my legacy,” said Shields, 21. “I didn’t want to disappear for four years and win another gold medal, but have people not know my name or what I look like or how I box.”
Shields also discussed her talents, and her words demonstrated how self-assured she is about them.
“Expect to see a really good fight, a very skilled fight from me, this Saturday,” said Shields, of Flint, Mich. “The world is going to see a level of boxing that no woman boxer has ever shown before. I’m a smart fighter. I’m an entertaining fighter. I throw everything well and have great combinations.”
Crews, of Baltimore, will be making her debut as well.