Shadasia Green will have to wait at least one more fight to challenge for the undisputed crown.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that the WBC has recalled its previous order for Green to next face fully unified super middleweight champion Franchon Crews-Dezurn. The ruling comes with the acknowledgment of another fight already in place, as Crews-Dezurn will instead defend versus England’s Savannah Marshall (12-1, 10KOs), a hard-hitting former WBO middleweight titlist who will move up in weight.
“Franchon will first defend [versus] Marshall and the winner will make the WBC/WBO mandatory Green,” WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman confirmed to BoxingScene.com.
The granted voluntary title defense for Baltimore’s Crews-Dezurn (8-1, 2KOs; 1NC) is targeted to take place on a June 17 BOXXER event at AO Arena in Manchester, England. As Boxing Scene previously reported, talks were already ongoing for such a fight when the sanctioning body ordered the mandatory title defense earlier this week.
Crews-Dezurn is due to make her fourth overall title defense, regardless of who landed in the other corner. She first claimed the WBC super middleweight title in a September 2018 majority decision over Marcela Cornejo. Their September 2019 rematch saw Crews-Dezurn win in more convincing fashion, which also came with the vacant WBO title at stake. She was originally due to face Mexico’s Alejandra Jimenez, who was injured and had to delay their fight by four months.
Jimenez initially claimed a split decision win in their rescheduled January 2020 clash, but the verdict was overturned after it was learned that she tested positive for the banned substance stanozolol. Crews-Dezurn to wait out a lengthy review process with both the WBO and WBC before having her title reign fully restored.
Two fights later, Crews-Dezurn became undisputed champion following a lopsided win over the previously unbeaten Elin Cederroos (now 8-2, 4KOs), who lost her IBF and WBA titles in their undisputed championship clash on the April 30 Katie Taylor-Amanda Serrano undercard at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The bout was the last to date for Crews-Dezurn, as Matchroom Boxing declined to pick up an option for her next fight.
Marshall still enjoys a physical advantage—both in size and raw power—despite moving up in weight.
The two-time Great Britain Olympian has rapidly emerged as among the sport’s hardest punchers, as shown in her knockout-to-win rate of greater than 83 percent. The 31-year-old from Hartlepool, England stopped eight straight opponents which included her WBO title winning effort over Hannah Rankin and three subsequent title defenses.
The run came to an end in her most recent fight and lone career defeat. Marshall dropped a competitive but clear decision to longtime rival Claressa Shields in their undisputed middleweight championship last October 15 at The O2 in London. The bout marked just the second time that Marshall went ten rounds, and just third overall where she fought past the fifth round.
Marshall has weighed above the middleweight limit in eight non-title fights to start her career. The upcoming challenge versus Crews-Dezurn, however, will mark her full-fledged super middleweight debut.
Without the prior WBC ruling, the writing was on the wall for this particular matchup.
Crews-Dezurn was ringside for Shields-Marshall, in support of Shields against whom she suffered her lone loss in their respective pro debuts. The two have since formed a tight bond, referring to each other as the “Serena and Venus (Williams) of boxing).” Crews-Dezurn and Marshall have shared plenty of words both in person and through social media and are now set to bring their rivalry to the ring,
Unfortunately, it comes at the expense of Green being denied her earned title shot.
The unbeaten contender—who rivals Marshall as the purest puncher in the sport among all active women—secured her mandatory challenger position in a sixth-round stoppage of Cederroos on February 4 in New York City. The fight came shortly after Green signed with Most Valuable Promotions—co-founded by Jake Paul and Nakisa Bidarian whose first and star client, Brooklyn’s Amanda Serrano (44-2-1, 30KOs), fully unified the featherweight division in the evening’s headliner.
The win was the ninth straight inside the distance for Green, a former standout high school and college basketball player from Patterson, New Jersey who has since emerged as the top super middleweight contender in the world. The 33-year-old knockout artist has yet to go beyond the sixth-round as a pro, despite stepping up to scheduled ten-round fights early last year.
While guaranteed a shot at the Crews-Dezurn vs. Marshall winner—or at least for the WBC title—the next move for Green remains unclear. MVP representatives did not immediately respond to a Boxing Scene inquiry seeking comment, though it stands to reason that she could land on the undercard of the recently announced August 5 Jake Paul-Nate Diaz DAZN Pay-Per-View from American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox