Highlights: Marshall takes undisputed from Crews-Dezurn, eyes Shields rematch


Savannah Marshall became undisputed super middleweight champion today in Manchester, beating Franchon Crews-Dezurn by majority decision over 10 rounds.

Scores were a hugely iffy 95-95, overruled by cards of 97-93 and 99-92. Bad Left Hook had the fight 98-92 for Marshall on our unofficial card.

It wasn’t pretty, because Crews-Dezurn (8-2, 2 KO) found quickly that trying to box at any distance with Marshall (13-1, 10 KO) just wasn’t really going to work, so as the fight wore on she focused more and more on grappling on the inside, trying to work a bit while in that close range, and perhaps more than anything, cutting off Marshall’s offensive output.

But it never really worked much. Marshall landed the vast majority of the clean and clear punches in the fight, and she was the one who looked far less tired in the second half, if you want to throw in “body language” and that sort of thing.

“I can’t describe how I’m feeling at the minute,” Marshall said after the fight. “It was even harder (than I expected). I think I broke me hand on her head. Tough, tough woman, and everything I said in the build-up, I’ll take back.”

“To be honest, I thought she’d come on stronger. Some of the rounds were close, but I felt like I was catching her with the cleaner shots.”

Asked what she wants to do next, Marshall said a rematch with Claressa Shields is on the table.

“If it’s there and she wants it, I’ll give it. But also I know there are mandatories, and another woman in America called Shadasia Green who’s waiting in line for her shot. I’ll have to see.”

Promoter Ben Shalom added, “I think we know what’s next,” speaking of Shields. “I think it has to be at super middleweight. That’s where Savannah is the best fighter in the world, we believe, and that’s where the rematch has to happen.”

Crews-Dezurn vs Marshall highlights

Undercard highlights and results

  • Ben Whittaker TKO-8 Vladimir Belujsky (1:49): Whittaker (4-0, 3 KO) is going to be truly hated by purists and people who lean more toward that mindset, and Boxxer and Sky seem like they’re just going to lean into it. His boxing isn’t really exciting, but he does do dances and showboating. Listen, if he wins with this act, it’ll make him a lot of money. If he doesn’t, it’ll make a lot of memes. But he’s gonna be bold about this and put it out there, and his promoter and broadcaster are gonna push it for him, too. He’s a legitimate talent, he’s no pretender prospect, but there are obviously levels far above Belujsky to get to in time, and a lot more coming back when you get there. If he handles that — and he might! — then we’ll really see.
  • Natasha Jonas TKO-8 Kandi Wyatt (0:33): A merciful stoppage in a mismatch. Wyatt (11-5, 3 KO) has now challenged for world titles four times and lost every time, stopped in three of them, and the last two have been just completely one-sided. Welterweight is not a deep division but this was just too totally predictable, she is simply not on this level. Anyway, Jonas (14-2-1, 9 KO) won the vacant IBF belt, and she still has three belts at 154 for the time being, another shallow division where a talented 130 lb fighter can just win titles. Jonas hurt Wyatt in the first round, probably had her suffering a broken nose by the end of it all, and it was good of the referee to stop this, it wasn’t a competition.
  • Mark Jeffers UD-10 Zak Chelli (97-94, 97-94, 97-93): A minor upset for Jeffers (16-0, 4 KO), and a deserved win with fair scores. I thought he won at least six of the first seven rounds here, but Chelli (13-2-1, 6 KO) never gave up on it, either, and I thought Jeffers, 25, was flirting with disaster a bit by playing it pretty safe the last three rounds. Just never know if some judge or two might have had them split after six or something. But the judges got it right.
  • Callum Simpson UD-10 Boris Crighton (97-93, 99-92, 99-91): Simpson goes to 12-0 (9 KO) against an opponent who knows what he’s doing in there, was never a real threat to actually win, but wasn’t easily bowled over, either. Crighton (11-4, 7 KO) was out for the fourth time in 2023 with this one, and he’ll be out for a fifth time pretty soon, probably.

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