Franchon Crews-Dezurn was caught a little off guard by the claim that Savannah Marshall has always wanted this fight.

It didn’t take long for the pair to agree to terms once talks were underway to compete for Crews-Dezurn’s undisputed super middleweight championship. The part for which the defending champ would like an explanation, however, is why it even took this long to open dialogue for such a fight.

“We’ve had a bit of banter over the years,” Crews-Dezurn noted during a press conference to formally announce their upcoming championship clash. “I wanted to fight. She used to fight at 168. I don’t know how she missed me, the longest reigning super middleweight champ in history. I don’t know how we missed each other but timing is everything. June 17 we’re going to get it on.”

Their June 17 bout will take place as part of a Sky Sports Box Office headlined by the Liam Smith-Chris Eubank Jr. rematch at AO Arena in Manchester, England. Both bouts were introduced during Tuesday’s press conference in London.

Crews-Dezurn (8-1, 2KOs) will attempt her fourth overall title defense and first since fully unifying all the super middleweight division titles.

The 35-year-old Baltimore, Maryland-based boxer claimed undisputed championship status following a ten-round win over unbeaten Elin Cedderoos in their battle of unified titlists last April 30 in New York City. The win was the most significant of her career, and particularly of her title reign which dates back to a September 2018 win over Maricela Cornejo in their first of two fights.

Marshall (12-1, 10KOs) was still competing above the middleweight limit at the time before the Brit officially dropped down to 160 for her first title fight in October 2020.

Crews-Dezurn claimed to have been ready for such a fight all this time but made sure to put the wheels in motion last fall. The defending 168-pound queen was ringside for Marshall’s competitive but clear defeat to Claressa Shields in their undisputed middleweight championship last October 15 at The O2 in London.

To her credit, Marshall didn’t take long to agree to terms once the two sides opened talks to make the fight. In fact, it was up to Crews-Dezurn’s side to ensure that the WBC would not enforce a mandatory title defense versus Shadasia Green, an ordered bout which the sanctioning body had to rescind upon realizing that a deal was already in place for this higher profile matchup.

“I’m very, very pleased. Marshall is a phenomenal fighter,” noted Crews-Dezurn, whose lone defeat came to Shields when both made their pro debut in November 2016.  “We have long history. I just want to give her respect for taking another hard fight.

“She gave a valiant effort in October. It might not be the same this time. It might be a little worse this time.”

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox