The Claressa Shields 2016 year in boxing was certainly a memorable one for the standout American female boxing star. As the end of the year draws to a close, she can be very proud of herself indeed but knows that even greater things are just around the corner.

Female pro boxing has traditionally been a hard sport to promote to the masses but with the likes of Claressa Shields and Ireland’s Katie Taylor recently turning pro, that could all be about to change in a new era for female boxing.

Shields enjoyed a unanimous points decision victory this past weekend in Las Vegas in her pro debut (full fight available here towards the end of the live stream).

It was a scrappy affair at times, but just the type of first fight in the paid ranks that will stand to her in good stead from a learning point of view as she goes forward.

Reportedly, her pro debut was part of a one fight stand alone deal with promotional firm RocNation but one would imagine her not having too much of a problem finding a big promoter if a new deal isn’t renewed.

Her palpably enthusiastic personality, inspiring background story and double Olympic gold medal amateur pedigree make her a hot commodity for any promoter looking to get involved with the talented 21 year old following Saturday’s win:

Finally 1-0!!!! Welcome to the pros!!!???? thanks to my team though! God, @andredirrell and Leon Lawson! Who next!? pic.twitter.com/DGmeXZD9Fp

— ClaressaT-rexShields (@Claressashields) November 20, 2016

Shields’ background story is an inspiring one.

After winning her initial Olympic gold medal back in 2012 it was thought that endorsements and opportunity would open up for her but as this short documentary details, that couldn’t have been further from the truth:

She seems to have that mindset that all great champions and winners in life generally do, she believes in herself no matter what and has a steely, unflappable determination in pursuit of her goals.

At just 21 years old after the 2016 she had, she now stands on the precipice of even greater things in 2017 as she looks to put female pro boxing on the map in the USA.

(Image source and credit: Claressa Shields Twitter)