With her long-time rival, Claressa Shields, moving down to middleweight, Baltimore’s Franchon “The Heavy-Hitting Diva” Crews-Dezurn will finally be getting her own deserved chance to shine.
One of the best female fighters in the world not currently holding a world title, Crews-Dezurn (3-1, 1 KO) will return to the ring for a six-round fight on the non-televised undercard of the blockbuster “It’s Our Time to Shine” event featuring two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and current Unified Women’s Super Middleweight Champion Shields attempting to become a two-division world champion against unified 154-pound champion Hanna Gabriels for the vacant IBF and WBA Women’s Middleweight World Championships.
The main event will be televised live on SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION (10 p.m. ET/PT) and will also feature highlights of Unified Women’s Middleweight Champion Christina Hammer as she defends her WBC & WBO Titles in her U.S. debut against former world champion Tori Nelson.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Salita Promotions, are available at Ticketmaster.com or at the Masonic Temple Box Office at (313) 832-7100. VIP tickets are priced at $300, ringside tickets at $125, and remaining tickets at $75, $50 and $35.
Not long ago, Crews-Dezurn, an eight-time national amateur champion and two-time medalist at the World Amateur Championships, looked to be the face of American women’s boxing before Shields, a younger boxing prodigy, stole much of her thunder and her spot on the inaugural women’s Olympic boxing team.
The pair faced each other again in their simultaneous pro debuts in late 2016, with Shields winning a decision.
Since then, Crews has signed with Shields’ promoter, Dmitriy Salita of Salita Promotions, and won three straight fights in impressive fashion.
“Training is going good,” said Crews-Dezurn. “I’ve been helping my husband Glenn get ready for his next fight, so I’m already in great shape. I’m very happy to be getting back in the ring.”
An entrepreneur, singer, and business student in addition to boxing, the charismatic Crews-Dezurn is as marketable as any fighter could be, but has been forced to live in the sizable shadow cast by the success of Shields.
However, now that Shields is off chasing a showdown with German counterpart Christina Hammer at middleweight, the super middleweight division has an opening for a new world champion.
“I’d like to be fighting for a title within the next year,” continued Crews-Dezurn. “I know in my heart I’m right there with the best super middleweights in the world. I just need to keep working hard and let things happen like they should.”
Promoter Salita, a champion of women’s boxing and one of the main forces behind its resurgence, says Crews-Dezurn’s day is coming soon.
“Franchon will be world champion in the not-too-distant future,” he said. “She has all the skills and she works very hard to reach her goals. She deserves all the success she will have. I’m happy to be promoting her career. She’s a very special fighter and person.”
Crews-Dezurn’s opponent is currently TBA. “It’s Our Time to Shine” is presented by Salita Promotions.
This Friday night, undefeated junior welterweight Mykal Fox takes the next step towards a big fight when he takes on Anthony Mercado in the main event of nine bout card at SugarHouse Casino.
The show is promoted by King's Promotions.
Fox (16-0, 4 KOs) of Forrestvile, Maryland continues his upward climb when he takes on that knockout artist from Puerto Rico.
"I have had a great camp. I had tremendous sparring with (Former 2-time world champion) Kermit Cintron & undefeated Greg Outlaw. I have been getting better with each day," said the 22 year-old Fox.
In Mercado, Fox is facing a fighter who is coming off his career best result, when he stopped previously undefeated Tyrone Crawley at the same venue on March 2nd
"Mercado is 5'11", and he has been talking a lot on social media that he is ready for war. I saw his fight with Clarence Booth and his fight with Crawley. He likes to come forward, and I will be ready for that on Friday. Everyone knows that I can adapt to any style."
This will be Mykal's first fight in the "Fighting City" of Philadelphia, and Fox would like to indoctrinate himself to the enthusiastic fight crowd.
"I was supposed to fight in Philadelphia in September, but that card was changed. I am super excited to fight there. I want to impress. They are a knowledgeable fight crowd."
"I am focused on Mercado. I don't train for events, I train for opportunities. I just want to thank everyone who supports me. I don't think anyone should miss this."
In the six-round co-feature, Anvar Yunusov (1-0) of Philadelphia will take on Deo Kizito (3-1, 2 KOs) of Washington, DC in a featherweight bout.
Thomas Mattice (11-0, 9 KOs) of Cleveland takes on an opponent to be named in a lightweight bout.
In four-round bouts:
"The Fighting Ring Announcer" Alex Barbosa (5-3-1, 1 KO) of Philadelphia will fight Sergio Aguilar (2-7, 2 KOs) of Homestead, Florida in a super bantamweight bout.
Romuel Cruz (1-0, 1 KO) of Philadelphia will battle Bryann Perez (2-9-1, 1 KO) of Carolina, Puerto Rico in a super bantamweight bout.
Jerrod Miner (1-1-1, 1 KO) of Philadelphia fights Desmond Moore (1-0, 1KO) of Bethlehem, PA in a bantamweight fight.
Joshafat Ortiz (3-0, 1 KO) of Reading, PA will tangle with Jordan Peters (2-1-1, 2 KOs) of Washington, DC in a super featherweight bout.
Michael Coffie (2-0, 1 Ko) of Brooklyn, NY will face Lamar Lewis (0-1) of Conway, Arkansas in a heavyweight fight.
Joel Flores (0-0-1) of Passaic , New Jersey battles Christopher Burgos (0-1) of Philadelphia in a jr. lightweight bout.
Now in its seventh season, THE FIGHT GAME WITH JIM LAMPLEY returns with a new edition WEDNESDAY, MAY 9 at a special time (10:30-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO. Hosted by the four-time Sports Emmy® winner, who has hosted HBO Boxing since joining the network in 1988, the show is a provocative, engaging and informative experience that delves into intriguing storylines, newsmakers and issues that are top-of-mind in boxing.
The show is also available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and partners’ streaming services.
Segments on this edition of THE FIGHT GAME include: correspondent Kelefa Sanneh’s trip to Cuba to visit a group of female fighters who are challenging long-established gender bias and striving to build their own Olympic boxing tradition; a look back at the May 5 middleweight showdown between Gennady Golovkin and Vanes Martirosyan that extended “GGG” successful title defenses to a record-tying 20; analyst Bernard Hopkins’ feature report; and Lampley’s survey of the latest news.
Immediately following the show’s May 9 debut, fight fans can log on to hbo.com for an exclusive overtime segment hosted by Lampley.