Franchon Crews-Dezurn believes Savannah Marshall changed the trajectory of her whole career; but Crews-Dezurn now heads to Manchester's AO Arena to fight Marshall as the undisputed 168lb champion; "I've got it all and I'm going to keep it," she warns ahead of their July 1 clash
Wednesday 28 June 2023 13:06, UK
Franchon Crews-Dezurn has been in the ring with Savannah Marshall once before - and she still wants revenge.
It was long before the American became the undisputed super-middleweight world champion. It was before Marshall had won and lost the WBO middleweight title as a professional. Before the Briton even became an amateur world champion.
More than a decade ago they boxed in the 2011 Olympic Test Event at the ExCel Arena in London. It looked like a routine victory for Marshall, who took the result 14-12.
That is not how Crews-Dezurn sees it. "I'm bitter about the decision," she told Sky Sports.
"Savannah did what she can do, which was her best and she can't control the people pushing the button. But if you feel like you can do what you think you did then, do it again now. Do it. I know in my heart I won that fight."
It was a crucial moment in Crews-Dezurn's amateur career. Then she was the incumbent middleweight No 1 on the USA team. But a teenage Claressa Shields was fast-rising and pushing for the 2012 Olympics.
"I know that that changed the whole trajectory of my amateur career," Crews-Dezurn said.
"Because I fought her before Claressa and I was the top seed in America and me coming up short against her didn't look good. I'm not saying it let Claressa [in] but it just kind of made me look like I was incompetent to represent the United States, which wasn't the case because after the Olympic trials [at the World Championships], in the same tournament Savannah beat Claressa in, I medalled silver."
Now on Saturday, live on Sky Sports, Marshall will challenge Crews-Dezurn for the unified WBO, WBA, IBF and WBC 168lb titles she holds.
Ahead of the fight, which headlines at the AO Arena in Manchester, the American warned Marshall: "It's going to be payback and getting paid.
"You ain't got nothing. I've got it all and I'm going to keep it."
She continued: "I'm in the future now, it's not about what you did, it's what you are doing. And I'm blessed to be undisputed, still being consistent, still competing at the top level and I want to continue to do that for as long as I can.
"She knows and I know it's not what you did back then, it's what you're doing now."
"I've made history," she said, but added: "Redemption - I'm always down to get my licks back so let's do it."
It is a fight Crews-Dezurn expects to be rough, because she intends to make it so.
"We train for punishment. We train for war. I'm a 10-round fighter. For her, she's used to being a power-puncher at middleweight knocking girls out in the first or second round," the American said.
"I went to war 10 rounds with a premium athlete in Elin Cederoos, my last fight, a former unified champion. I just know how I'm coming. I'm ready for whatever.
"I believe she's going to try to box. But if she tries to fight me the way she fought Claressa [Shields] - I'll take her words - I'll mop the floor with her."
As well as becoming a champion, Marshall is also looking to set herself for a rematch with Shields. But Crews-Dezurn says the Briton cannot risk looking too far ahead.
"I'm not the one to sleep on," the American said. "If you think you're going to walk through me, or use me as a stepping stone, she's going to have a long night.
"You can't bully a bully. Whatever she tries to do, I'm going to do it better. It doesn't matter."
Crews-Dezurn believes she wants this victory more than Marshall does.
"I'm willing to go how far I have to go to defend my titles and become victorious. It may be an easy night for me, who knows?" she declared.
"I think she's softened in life and hasn't been hardened in life like I have. I've been denied many times as a professional boxer in my boxing career. I've been denied plenty of times in life. You learn in life. It is what it is, life is what you make it.
"We fight for two different things. And I don't think her motivation is as deep as mine."
Watch Franchon Crews-Dezurn vs Savannah Marshall live on Sky Sports Action from 7pm and Sky Sports Main Event from 9.30pm on Saturday.