Super Middleweight Boxing Champion Franchón Crews-Dezurn Makes History as part of Triller's Men’s and Women’s Undisputed Title Fights on the Same Card
Franchón Crews-Dezurn is the WBC and WBO titleholder at super middleweight division. The boxer known as "The Heavy Hitting Diva, will be fighting Elin Cederoos of Sweden for the IBF and WBA crowns to unify the title on June 19 on Triller Fight Club's card in Miami. It's a history-making event for Triller to have the men’s and women’s undisputed title fights on the same card on PPV.
Crews-Dezurn has a 7-1 record with one on contest and seven straight victories in the ring. She's not just a championship boxer, but is also a clothing designer who make her own ring attire, a singer and a huge advocate for women's sports.
Crews-Dezurn tells SportsJam host Doug Doyle that having her boxing husband Glenn Dezurn Jr. has been a huge influence on her in many ways. They both were training at the same gym years ago, but it was not love at first sight.
"He's been around me for a very long time, actually since 2006. I always joked, there was a Washington Post article and big feature and he's in the picture and I never knew it until he pointed it out years later. When we used to train, we used to go at it like cats and dogs, I thought he hated me. But you know time reveals itself and he's just been an amazing friend and moved on to become my husband, my confidant, my everything. He's the best."
Crews-Dezurn is a Virginia Beach native who has lived in Baltimore for many years. Her quick rise in the world of boxing was amazing. She first put on boxing gloves when she was in her mid-teens but was a national champion by 17.
"I'm gifted. I'm blessed. But, more so, I've always been a fighter and boxing is life. Boxing, if you're really true to it, it brings you so much character, and as you can me I'm a bit character, it's just paralleled to boxing. I think it's a way I can express myself the way I express myself in life. I just don't have a lot of quit in me. If it's challenging, I'm going to find a way to overcome it."
The self-described tomboy wasn't afraid to fight the boys growing up?
"It was equal opportunity butt-whippings. I have all brothers so I'm well versed in fighting guys. I like to fight everybody. Even now, most of the sparring partners are men."
Before become a professional boxing champion, Franchón Crews-Dezurn had an amazing amateur career that include 15 national titles, four Pan American championships and two medals in world championships. But the talented boxer gave up a shot at fighting in the Olympics to turn pro and battle USA Gold Medalist Claressa Shields. It was the professional debut for both fighters. Shields wasn't having any luck at finding an opponent, but Crews-Dezurn on short notice accepted the challenge from the self-proclaim GWOAT (Greatest Woman of All Time).
"You know I still had my heart set on going to the Olympic Games 2020, probably like a month and a half before the next competition which as in December and I got a phone call about the opportunity to fight Claressa in two weeks. I never had aspirations to go pro. I never thought about it and I was like okay let's do it. Everybody else turned her down and kind of left her hanging. She's made world and U.S. history and she's talented so let's just make it a moment. I believe in myself so it was more so competitiveness, supporting and just making it happen."
After a tough fight, Shields won a unanimous decision over Crews-Dezurn, the only loss for the Baltimore resident so far. She briefly lost her title after a bout with Alejandra Jimenez on January 11, 2020, at the Alamodome in San Antonio. Jimenez was declared the winner in a heated split decision affair but that fight was soon declared a “no decision” a couple weeks later after it was revealed Jimenez failed the pre- and post-fight drug test.
Crews-Dezurn was eventually given her titles back but she admits that time period weighed on her mentally.
"It was very suspicious from the jump. I just knew. Then when I got in the ring it just validated how I felt but I couldn't say anything until the tests came back and it was proven."
Prior to that controversial fight, Crews-Dezurn had won her titles in 2019 after putting a beatdown on Maricela Cornejo. Fulfilling a dream of being a world champion was an emotional moment for the hard-working Crews-Dezurn.
"So I have this video that should the clip from American Idol when (show judge) Simon (Cowell) told me I couldn't be good at everything. I made a declaration on TV and said if I'm not the American Idol, I'm going to be the middleweight champion of the world. My mother was in that clip beside me but she passed away in 2016. But when I won the title I had a picture of her on my arm, so everything just came full circle. Even though I'm not the middleweight champ, I'm the super middleweight champ of the world."
Crews-Dezurn says looking back at her mom, she really she was a diva too and that has impacted her current style.
"You don't pay attention to stuff when you're young, you know that's just mom and that's what she does. But as I got older and I noticed myself doing some of those things when I look back on pictures of her, my mother was kind of fly. She stayed in high heels and she worked in a corporate office and she always would wear these nice skirt suits with the blazer and mini skirt. She had great legs. She had big smiles. She had a gap and she was just a pretty chocolate woman and you know I thought I picked a lot of her essence up as I'm getting older but the tomboy side of my dad all the way."
The spirited Crews-Dezurn is represented by Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Productions and she teamed up recently with boxing manager Peter Kahn. Crews-Dezurn says both have done a great deal in promoting her brand and given her a stage to become extremely successful in the boxing world.
You can catch the video version of this SportsJam at https://fb.watch/5MODiTxayw/.