Manchester, England witnessed a huge night of boxing as Savannah Marshall emerged victorious, claiming the undisputed super-middleweight world title. The hard-fought win against Franchon Crews-Dezurn might just have opened the doors to a much-anticipated face-off with her long-standing adversary, Claressa Shields.
The thrilling ten-round match saw both fighters taking the fight to each other, eventually leaving the ring with battle scars to prove it. Even though Marshall looked destined for victory as the final bell tolled, a puzzling 95-95 scorecard from a judge turned an anticipated unanimous decision into a majority one.
Speaking on her opponent, Marshall said, “Crews-Dezurn proved to be a tenacious contender. Some rounds were quite tight, but I believe my punches carried the day.”
Shields, present ringside, offered her unfiltered opinion and a challenge to Marshall. She boldly stated, “I’ll meet her in the ring at any weight. She better prepare for a thrashing. Her performance had evident gaps, and she didn’t seem to learn from her last match. The 95-95 score by one judge resonates with my thoughts. Both fighters could have given more.”
Crews-Dezurn’s strategy to stay up close and personal was an attempt to negate Marshall’s reach and power advantage, leading to some rough and tumble rounds. However, Marshall’s impactful punches when they landed forced Crews-Dezurn to stick to her close-quarter combat approach.
Meanwhile, the spotlight was also on Ben Whittaker, whose performance reaffirmed why he’s seen as a rising superstar. He displayed dazzling skill and style to outmaneuver Vladimir Beljusky, eventually stopping him in the eighth round. His dynamic and flamboyant style pays homage to his boxing idol, ‘Prince’ Naseem Hamed.
While Whittaker harbors ambitions to fast-track his way to world title contention, this recent win marks only his fourth professional bout. The eight-round contest proved to be a treasure trove of experience for this young pro.
In a separate event, Natasha Jonas etched her name in history as Liverpool’s first-ever two-weight world champion, clinching the IBF World Welterweight Championship in Manchester. Her opponent, Canada’s Kandi Wyatt, put up a gutsy performance but was outclassed from the get-go. Jonas continues to demonstrate her high-tier competitive spirit in women’s boxing, already holding the WBC, WBO, and IBF light-middleweight championship titles.
“I’m overwhelmed and grateful for the support,” Jonas admitted post-match.
With several lucrative options on the table for her next fight, Jonas will be enjoying a well-deserved, month-long family vacation before deciding her next steps in the ring.