Skip to content

Savannah Marshall beats Franchon Crews-Dezurn to become undisputed champion and set up potential Claressa Shields rematch

Savannah Marshall defeats Franchon Crews-Dezurn by majority decision to become undisputed super-middleweight world champion, with Claressa Shields watching on from ringside ahead of a potential blockbuster rematch between the long-term rivals following October's historic grudge match

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Highlights as Savannah Marshall beats Franchon Crews-Dezurn by majority decision to become undisputed super-middleweight world champion.

Savannah Marshall reclaimed her place at the summit of women's boxing as she beat Franchon Crews-Dezurn by majority decision to become undisputed super-middleweight champion of the world and open the door to a potential rematch with Claressa Shields, who watched on from ringside in Manchester.

Marshall out-manoeuvred and out-classed her American opponent in a gritty, gruelling and, at times, messy battle as she fought for the first time since suffering her first professional defeat to Shields in October's historic grudge match at The O2.

The Silent Assassin produced a bullish reminder of her punch power, clubbing the champion with crisp shots to assert her dominance on the way to being declared a 95-95, 99-92, 97-93 winner on the judge's cards and thereby improving her record to 13-1.

Crews-Dezurn, who had been out of the ring since last April's win over Elin Cederroos, meanwhile slips to 8-2.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Franchon Crews-Dezurn sang the American national anthem before her fight against Savannah Marshall

"Sweet dreams," Marshall told Sky Sports. "I can't describe how I'm feeling at the minute.

"I think I broke my hand on her head, a tough, tough woman.

"Some of the rounds were close, but I felt like I landed the cleaner work.

Also See:

"If she (Shields) wants it (the rematch), let's do it. I'm sure she'll want to try and unify another division."

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Claressa Shields appeared at Savannah Marshall's post-fight press conference to let her know she's ready to fight her again.

Crews-Dezurn had proven herself a tremendous protagonist for sport with her exuberant personality and multi-faceted skillset during the build-up to Saturday, and the singer-meets-boxer-meets-fashion designer showed as much again when she performed the pre-fight US national anthem to the sound of deafening boos.

But it was Marshall who was first to strike when she squeezed through a clinical right hand to snap back the head of Crews-Dezurn in the opening round, the American's reply coming in the form of a snappy left to redden the face of her rival.

With her heavyweight bounce and armed with that steely right hand, Marshall walked down the champion in search of firing range before a grappling match almost resulted in the American losing her balance and sending herself to the canvas.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Claressa Shields says she would fight Savannah Marshall in a rematch in America after she saw a lot of weaknesses in her victory over Franchon Crews-Dezurn.

An overhand right from Marshall had Crews-Dezurn in another moment of concern as she resorted to clinching on the inside.

She then reverted to using her body and physical strength in a bid to wear Marshall down, such was the intensity that the pair eventually plummeted to the ground after both losing balance, Marshall very nearly rolling out of the ring in the process.

It became nasty and ugly and a fight that lived on the edge, awaiting its tipping point.

Marshall decided it was time to get back to work, pushing off and zinging a perfect jab to restore her control of the distancing.

More erratic clinching would send Marshall to the ground and Crews-Dezurn simultaneously into the ropes early in the fourth, until Marshall again reclaimed control with a stunning right hand.

She built in the fifth, unleashing a shuddering right to pile the pressure on followed by another sublime right in what became a frenetic, frantic round.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Savannah Marshall said she hopes to fight Claressa Shields again after becoming undisputed world super-middleweight champion

Marshall continued to breach the defences of the 36-year-old in the sixth, before absorbing a clean left hand and responding bullishly with a left-right combination to an undefended face.

Yet again the pair found themselves swinging and in danger of falling, only for Marshall to shove off the champion and fizz in a ruthless left hook.

Marshall seemed to find even more power and accuracy as the fight grew into the latter rounds, Crews-Dezurn's corner pleading with her to work back behind the jab in a late effort to gain control. To little avail.

A right hook would only do more damage to the face of Crews-Dezurn, though, as Marshall closed out an impressive performance to mark her return to action.

All roads now seemingly point towards an enthralling return meeting with famous foe Shields, who was insistent that Marshall must travel stateside if she wishes to pursue revenge.

"If Savannah comes to the USA, I will fight her at whatever weight she wants to fight at," Shields told Sky Sports.

"She is going to get beat up in America, that's what is going to happen."

Around Sky