Exclusive Interview: Savannah Marshall Opens Up On Her Upcoming Fight With Franchon Crews-Dezurn

Savannah Marshall, the former WBO middleweight champion, is set to challenge Franchon Crews-Dezurn, the undisputed super-middleweight champion, at the AO Arena in Manchester on July, 1st 2023. 

Marshall’s last fight was a loss to Claressa Shields in an attempt to become the undisputed champion at middleweight. However, a win over Crews-Dezurn could lead to another title fight against Shields. 

In contrast, Crews-Dezurn became undisputed in 2022, six years after having turned professional in 2016. Her record stands at eight wins, one no-contest and one loss.

The defeat came in her first fight which was a loss to Claressa Shields, but thereafter, her career has gone from strength to strength.

In 2018, she defeated Maricela Cornejo for the WBC super middleweight title and won the rematch in 2019 for the WBO belt. 

Outside of the ring, Crews-Dezurn is also known for her passion for singing, appearing on American Idol, and launching her own promotional company. 

With that being said, FIGHTSPORTS had an exclusive interview with Marshall for her upcoming bout. 

Key Quotes

On her mindset for the fight: “I’m really looking forward to it. It was meant to be 17th of June, so it got pushed back.

“It’s only two weeks, but any other fighter will tell you that it’s two weeks more sparring and two weeks more strength, two weeks more dieting. And so I’m just at the point now, I just want to get in there and fight.”

On her defeat to Shields: “It was really hard. Obviously the rivalry between me and Claressa had been going on for a long time.

“Also it was my first loss as a pro, and I’d lost my world title belt. It was really hard to take.

On moving up to super-middleweight: “I’ve had those warm up fights, I’ve had those learning fights I don’t need anymore.

“And also I’ve built quite a strong fan base. I couldn’t think of nothing worse than my fans paying money for hotels, travel tickets to come and watch me fight someone who I’m going to get a quite comfortable win [over].

“I’ve been a world champion, I want to be a world champion again.”

On the similarities to her opponent: “We’ve [had] similar opponents. I’ve known Franchon for quite a while. I think I first met her about 2011, something like that.

“So I’m quite familiar with her. She was always a regular on the amateur boxing scene. So I’m really familiar with with Franchon.”

On Franchon’s style: “I think Franchon’s more of a brawler. She’s very physical and she could also be seen as quite uneasy on the eye maybe, but she’s made it work for her.

“She’s awkward and you can see when she fights her opponents for the first couple of rounds, they don’t really know what to do with her. She’s a bit of a Rubik’s Cube.”

On having a rivalry: “I think she’s trying to build up some sort of a rivalry there.

“There’s no bad blood from my side with Franchon other than, you know, she’s got the belts now. I want them, and I know she’s very good friends with Claressa.

“I feel like they are trying to gang up on me, but no, there’s no bad blood there from my side.”

On the pressure: “It’s not so much pressure. It’s more, look, I’ve got a chance to redeem myself. I’ve got a chance to become a world champion again and the show’s called all or nothing.

“I’ve got a chance of taking it all. I’ve got a chance of walking away with nothing again. So I don’t really see it much as pressure, I see it more as I’ve got another crack at it.”

On Franchon’s fighting talk at the presser: “I think she was trying to get a rise, but from my side what can I say? I’m coming off a loss. I’ve got no belts.

“I’d rather just leave it until July 1st. That’s the point… I could have sat down and just talked smack. But I’m not bothered. Do you know I’d rather just get it done.”

On being the favorite: “I don’t see it being a walk over. I’ve trained for the hardest Franchon there is you know.

“I’m sparring a lot bigger people, a lot heavier handed, a lot more physical than what Franchon actually is so I’m preparing the best I can.

“But I think I might have been the favourite for the Claressa fight…That’s another world, that’s something I don’t dabble in.”

On her aim: “A win is a win for me, any way possible, points, knockout, TKO. I’m just going for that win. Ten rounds of hell, I want that win.”

On becoming undisputed at super-middleweight: “It would mean everything to me to be champion again.

“I’ve had a little bit of a taster last time when I was the WBO champion. I had one belt. Now it’s another chance to go and pick up all four.”

Prediction: “A Savannah Marshall win. Like I said points, KO, TKO, I’d take any form, so long as it is a Savannah Marshall win.”

On the future after this fight: “Honestly, I don’t know because I know that with this win it’s not as simple as trying to get a rematch with Claressa.

“Far from it, as I know there’s mandatories put in place, things like that. So look, I just need to get Franchon out of the way.”

You can catch the fight live on FIGHTSPORTS MAX right here, restrictions may apply in some countries.

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