DALLAS—Franchón Crews-Dezurn prevailed in the same state which nearly stole her titles nearly one year ago.
The reigning unified super middleweight titlist had to overcome a sought edge of a different kind in her latest outing, thoroughly outworking Ashleigh Curry en route to an eight-round unanimous decision. Scores were 80-72 across the board in favor of Crews-Dezurn in their non-title fight Saturday evening at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
Drama came at the scale preceding the postliminary bout, with Curry weighing 176.2 pounds—four pounds above their renegotiated 172-pound contracted weight limit. The mark was increased from 169, to which Crews-Dezurn conceded for the sake of making the fight only to grow frustrated with her opponent’s lack of professionalism.
That level of anger was properly channeled in the ring, as the Baltimore native dictated the pace throughout their eight-round affair. The bout was the first for Crews-Dezurn since suffering a controversial split decision defeat to Mexico’s Alejandra Jimenez last January in San Antonio, which initially ended her unified title reign.
Jimenez was later popped for a banned substance, with the result overturned to a No-Contest and the title reign restored for Crews-Dezurn who hadn’t fought since.
Little evidence of ring rust showed in Saturday’s performance. Crews-Dezurn was sharp with her jab, enough to keep the naturally bigger Curry (8-14-4, 1KO) at bay. Whenever the 35-year old Missouri native worked her way inside, Crews-Dezurn would make her pay with rapid fire left hooks and right hands upstairs.
Well ahead on the scorecards deep into the fight, Crews-Dezurn never shied from dishing out punishment. The 33-year old champ scored with whipping left hooks and right hands to the body, forcing Curry to clinch and spend the rest of the fight in retreat.
The win is the first for Crews-Dezurn since becoming a two-belt titlist in September 2019, as she improves to 7-1 (2KOs). The lone loss came in her pro debut, a four-round unanimous decision to fellow debutante and two-time Olympic Gold medalist Claressa Shields, who has since emerged as a three-division champ.
Crews-Dezurn’s winning effort came after the evening’s headliner, which saw unbeaten lightweight Ryan García rise from the canvas to score a 7th round knockout of England’s Luke Campbell.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox