Savannah Marshall defeated Franchon Crews-Dezurn by majority decision to become the undisputed super-middleweight champion of the world, with Claressa Shields watching from ringside ahead of a potential blockbuster rematch between the long-term rivals following of the historic grudge match in October
Through Cameron Hogwood from the AO Arena in Manchester
23:52, UK, Saturday 01 July 2023
Savannah Marshall reclaimed her place at the summit of women’s boxing when she defeated Franchon Crews-Dezurn by majority decision to become the undisputed super-middleweight champion of the world and open the door to a potential rematch with Claressa Shields, who watched from ringside in Manchester.
Marshall out-manoeuvred and out-classed his American opponent in a rough, grueling and, at times, messy fight as he fought for the first time since suffering his first professional loss to Shields in the historic bout of resentment in October at The O2.
The Silent Assassin produced a powerful reminder of his punching power, pounding the champion with crisp shots to assert his dominance en route to declaring a 95-95, 99-92, 97-93 victory in the judge’s card and thus improved his record to 13-1.
Crews-Dezurn, who has been out of the ring since last April’s win over Elin Cederroos, meanwhile slipped to 8-2.
Marshall struck first when he landed a clinical right hand to snap back the head of Crews-Dezurn in the opening round, the American’s response came in the form of a quick left to red-face his rival
Using his heavyweight bounce and armed with a steely right hand, Marshall went down on the champion in search of firing range before a grappling match nearly resulted in the American losing his balance and landing on the canvas.
An overhand right from Marshall had Crews-Dezurn in for another moment of worry as he was forced to hang inside.
He then returned to using his body and physical strength in a bid to wear Marshall down, with such intensity that the pair eventually fell to the ground after both lost their balance, Marshall very nearly rolling out of the ring in the process.
It got uglier and uglier and a fight lived on the sidelines, waiting for its tipping point.
Marshall decides it’s time to get back to work, stops and lands a perfect jab to regain control of his distance.
More errant clinching would send Marshall to the ground and Crews-Dezurn simultaneously to the ropes early in the fourth, until Marshall regained control with a stunning right hand.
He built up in the fifth, unleashing a shaky right to pile on the pressure followed by another superb right in what turned out to be a frenetic, frantic round.
Marshall continued to breach the 36-year-old’s defenses in the sixth, before landing a clean left hand and responding powerfully with a left-right combination on an undefended face.
Once again the pair found themselves standing and in danger of falling, only for Marshall to throw the champion away and land a merciless left hook.
Marshall seemed to find more power and accuracy as the fight progressed into the later rounds, Crews-Dezurn’s corner begging him to go back behind the jab in a last ditch effort to gain control. With little gain.
A right hook would only do more damage to Crews-Dezurn’s face, however, as Marshall closed out an impressive performance to mark his return to action.
All roads now seem to be pointing towards a fascinating meeting with the famous rivals Shields.
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