NEW YORK – Franchon Crews-Dezurn provided a boxing first on an already historic night at the sport’s most iconic venue.
The first-ever undisputed super middleweight champion was crowned in women’s boxing, with Crews-Dezurn outpointing Sweden’s Elin Cederroos over ten rounds. Scores of 99-91, 99-91 and 97-93 landed in favor of Baltimore’s Crews-Dezurn, who claimed the WBA/IBF titles while defending her WBC/WBO titles Saturday evening at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
A fight more than a year in the making was well worth the wait for Crews-Dezurn, who took the fight straight to the Cederroos in the opening round. The defending WBC/WBO titlist from Baltimore forced a frenetic pace against the inactive Cederroos, who hasn’t fought since unifying the WBA/IBF titles more than two years ago.
Crews-Dezurn was dialed in with her left hook and overhand right, to which Cederroos struggled to find a response. The unbeaten Swede was slow to the draw, occasionally landing her jab but unable to throw a right hand behind it as Crews-Dezurn would already counter with right hands over the top.
Cederroos was bleeding from her nose in round three, which saw the same pattern transpire. Crews-Dezurn enjoyed continued success with her left hook, with both boxers showing little regard or need for defense.
The tide briefly turned early in round four, when Cederroos managed to drive Crews-Dezurn to the corner after connecting with a left hook and right hand. It was by far her best sequence of the fight, though she was still being outworked by her American counterpart.
Crews-Dezurn repeatedly drew a rise out of the crowd in rounds five and six. Among her most vocal supporters was longtime friend and lone conqueror Claressa Shields, the two-time Olympic Gold medalist and three-division champion who shouted instructions and encouragement from press row until being called to work the international broadcast.
Meanwhile, Crews-Dezurn was on her way to securing history in the super middleweight division. Cederroos lacked the equalizer to turn things around, willingly going toe-to-toe with Crews-Dezurn but unable to avoid the incoming. Crews-Dezurn used her jab as a range finder to crack Cederroos with several overhand rights to close out round seven.
Cederroos enjoyed a rally midway through round eight. Crews-Dezurn momentarily lost her balance, leaving herself open for a right hand and left hook by Cederroos who kept her foot on the gas for the duration of the round.
It was her last shining moment, with Crews-Dezurn closing the show in style to crown the division’s first-ever undisputed championship.
Crews-Dezurn improves to 8-1 (2KOs) with one No-Contest, the lone loss coming to Shields when both made their pro debut in November 2016. The win marks her second overall title defense, having won the WBC/WBO belts in September 2019.
Cederroos suffers her first defeat, falling to 8-1 (4KOs). The 37-year-old Swede failed to defend the WBA/IBF belts she unified in a January 2020 win over Alicia Napoleon in her U.S. debut.
Crews Dezurn-Cederroos aired as part of the four-fight main show on DAZN. Headlining the evening, undisputed lightweight champion Katie Taylor (20-0, 6KOs) of Bray, Ireland attempts her thirteenth overall title defense versus Brooklyn’s own record-setting, seven-division titlist Amanda Serrano (42-1-1, 30KOs).
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox