Franchon Crews-Dezurn and Savannah Marshall had plenty of energy left at the scales to enjoy one final verbal exchange before they fight for real in the ring.
Both boxers comfortably made weight for their undisputed super middleweight championship clash. Crews-Dezurn donned her trademark sunglasses as she checked in at 167.3 pounds to defend her fully unified crown. Marshall was a career-heaviest 167 pounds but still one full pound under the divisional limit for their main event from AO Arena in Manchester, England (Saturday, Sky Sports/ESPN+, 7:00 p.m. GMT/2:00 p.m. ET).
Crews-Dezurn (8-1, 2KOs; 1NC) attempts her fourth overall title defense and first as the undisputed champion. The charismatic 36-year-young champion from Baltimore, Maryland has not fought since she added the WBA and IBF belts to her collection in a ten-round win over unbeaten Elin Cedderoos last April 30 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. She’s held the WBC belt since September 2018 and added the WBO belt one year later.
The lone defeat suffered by champion and challenger came at the hands of the same fighter—two-time Olympic Gold medalist and three-division champion Claressa Shields.
Crews-Dezurn lost a four-round decision when both she and Shields made their respective pro debuts in their November 2016 meeting.
Marshall’s defeat to the pound-for-pound queen came in her most recent start.
The two-time Olympian from Hartlepool, County Durham came up short on the cards in their fantastic undisputed championship clash last October 15 at The O2 in London. The defeat ended Marshall’s WBO middleweight title reign which began with a seventh-round knockout of Hannah Rankin in October 2020. The title win and her three successful defenses all ended inside the distance.
The evening’s other title fight will see 2012 Great Britain Olympian and unified junior middleweight titlist Natasha Jonas move down in weight to face visiting Kandi Wyatt for the vacant IBF welterweight title.
Liverpool’s Jonas was 146.3 pounds, her lightest official weight in more than 18 months after moving up to the junior middleweight limit. She still holds the WBC, IBF and WBO titles at the weight but will have a difficult decision to make with a win on Saturday as to which weight she remains and belts she will retain.
Jonas previously fought to a draw versus then-unbeaten WBC junior lightweight titlist Terri Harper and a dropped a narrow ten-round decision to undisputed lightweight champion Katie Taylor before moving up in weight.
Wyatt was 146 pounds in her fourth bid for a major title. The longshot opponent from Calgary, Canada fell short in versus Kali Reis in November 2020 for the vacant WBA junior welterweight title and a December 2021 seventh-round knockout loss to then-undisputed welterweight champion Jessica McCaskill as a late replacement opponent. Wyatt also suffered a sixth-round knockout to Christina Linardatou in their March 2019 vacant WBO 140-pound title fight.
Below are the weights for the remaining undercard bouts.
Ben Whittaker (3-0, 2KOs), West Bromwich, West Midlands, 174.3 pounds vs. Vladimir Belujsky (13-6-1, 9KOs), Kezmorak, Slovakia, 175.3 pounds—8 rounds, light heavyweight
Zak Chelli (13-1-1, 6KOs), Fulham, London, 166.3 pounds vs. Mark Jeffers (15-0, 4KOs), Chorley, Lancashire, 167.3 pounds—10 rounds, super middleweight
Callum Simpson (11-0, 9KOs), Barnsley, Yorkshire, 169 pounds vs. Boris Crighton (11-3, 7KOs), Glasgow, Scotland, 167 pounds—rounds, super middleweight
April Hunter (6-1, 0KOs), Liverpool, 153 pounds vs. Kirstie Bavington (7-4-2, 2KOs), Pensnett, West Midland 149.3 pounds—6 rounds, junior middleweight (off-TV)
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox