Claressa Shields faces familiar opponent in pro boxing debut

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Two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields will fight countrywoman Franchon Crews in her first professional bout on Nov. 19 in Las Vegas.

Shields (77-1 and undefeated for more than four years) announced last week that she was turning pro, potentially giving up the opportunity to go for a third Olympic title in 2020.

Shields discussed conversations with boxing’s international federation about making her eligible for the Tokyo Games.

Shields was 16 years old and unaccomplished in February 2012 when she upset top-ranked Crews at the first U.S. Olympic women’s boxing trials.

Crews had started boxing in 2003 to lose weight for her singing career and once tried out for “American Idol.”

Crews moved up one weight class, where she won world championships medals in 2012 (silver) and 2016 (bronze). She reverted to middleweight for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials and was eliminated before a potential rematch with Shields in the finals.

VIDEO: Shields congratulated by famous boxing actor