South Florida boxer prepares for pro debut

A South Florida boxer who made American boxing history at this summer’s Olympics is preparing for her professional debut.

Claressa Shields was the first American boxer ever to win back-to-back gold medals at the Olympics this summer. On Saturday, she’ll make her professional debut in Las Vegas.

“Of course there was some pressure, but at the same time I was just like, it wasn’t something that I didn’t think was possible,” Shields said. “I thought it was a very reachable goal.”

Shields trains and lives in South Florida, where she spoke to 7News about becoming the face of American women’s boxing.

“Everybody always told me that women’s boxing needs to get over that hump — we just can’t over this hump — to get us on the same page as men’s boxing,” Shields said. “I always knew that it would be me that would have to do it.”

Shields said she started boxing because, as a shy kid, it was her way to stop bullies.

“When I say the beauty and the beast, I’m a beast inside the ring and a beauty out,” Shields said. “I think inside of the ring I’m a complete beast and unstoppable.”

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