Franchon Crews-Dezurn makes history as the first female undisputed super middleweight champion
NEW YORK — There is nothing refined about Franchon Crews-Dezurn. She plods forward and proceeds to throw punches from every imaginable angle there is.
She’s moving chaos. She’s crudely effective.
And she’s awfully effective at it.
On Saturday night, Crews-Dezurn made women’s boxing history by becoming the first undisputed super middleweight and Ring Magazine world champion by handing Elin Cederroos her first career defeat on the Katie Taylor-Amanda Serrano undercard on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.
Crews-Dezurn (8-1, 2 knockouts) had the WBC/WBO belts and was rated No. 2 by The Ring, while Cederroos (8-1, 4 KOs) held the IBF/WBA belts and was rated No. 1 by The Ring.
Crews-Dezurn won easily on the scorecards, getting 99-91 verdicts from judges Kevin Morgan and Waleska Roldan, while judge Eric Marlinski saw a little closer, 97-93.
In the first round, Crews-Dezurn tried brawling but it was evident Cederroos was the sharper puncher and more skilled fighter. While Crews-Dezurn was swinging wildly hoping to connect, Cederroos calmly pecked away, using her jab.
In the second, Crews-Dezurn’s wild, winging shots took hold. She landed a few and had Cederroos backing up.
Crews-Dezurn was looking to use the momentum she had built in the second to carry over into the third. Again, she came out winging and moving forward, testing Cederroos, whose nose began to bleed.
By the fourth round, Cederroos’ face was a red mess. Her nose was a bloody faucet. In between the fourth and fifth rounds, referee Sparkle Lee and the ringside judges took a close look at Cederroos.
By the seventh, Cederroos appeared to be closing the gap and had Crews-Dezurn fighting with her mouth agape, gasping for air. It didn’t stop Crews-Dezurn from pushing Cederroos around and clinching to change Cederroos’ rhythm.
Cederroos may have had her best round in the eighth, pushing a tiring Crews-Dezurn back.
Fighting on fumes, Crews-Dezurn managed to clip Cederroos twice in the face in the ninth. But Crews-Dezurn was hanging on.
Cederroos chose to fight the 10th like Crews-Dezurn, swinging wildly and connecting on a few. But Crews-Dezurn may be part iron, because she took the shots well and kept coming. As the final bell sounds, Crews-Dezurn had her head buried in Cederroos punching at anything she could.
Galal Yafai, the 2020 Olympic flyweight gold medalist from England, continues to shine. In only his second pro fight, Yafai (2-0, 2 KOs) was scheduled to go 10 rounds with tough Philadelphian Miguel Cartagena (17-7-1, 8 KOs).
It didn’t last three rounds.
The southpaw Yafai had Cartagena in a ton of trouble early. He attacked and broke down Cartagena from a variety of angles, working the body with his right and slamming Cartagena with left uppercuts.
In the second, Yafai was once again dictating the pace and was the aggressor. He used his superior skillset, attacking Cartagena with rights to the body, and straight lefts when Cartagena lowered his guard.
Referee Harvey Dock began taking closer looks after each exchange as Cartagena continued to endure punishment.
When Cartagena returned to his corner after the second, Dock waved the fight over. Cartagena did not vehemently protest the call. He knew.
Middleweight Austin “Ammo” Williams (11-0, 9 KOs) continued to impress with a first-round stoppage over the previously undefeated Chordale Booker (17-1, 7 KOs).
This was supposed to be a test for Williams. Some test. Williams jumped all over Booker with a barrage of punches and had Booker in trouble immediately. Referee Charlie Fitch called a knockdown when Booker went stumbling back into the ropes off a flurry of Williams’ punches.
Finally, in what seemed like an eternity, Fitch waved it over at 2:25 of the first.
Welterweight Reshat Mati (12-0, 7 KOs) remained undefeated with an eight-round decision over Joe Eli Hernandez (12-2, 10 KOs). Australian featherweight Skye Nicolson (3-0, 0 KOs) won a unanimous six-round decision over Shanecquia Paisley Davis (3-2).
Light heavyweight Khalil Coe (3-0-1, 2 KOs) opened the show with a six-round unanimous decision over William Langston (6-3, 4 KOs).
Joseph Santoliquito is an award-winning sportswriter who has been working for Ring Magazine/RingTV.com since October 1997 and is the president of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be followed on twitter @JSantoliquito.
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