A Second Undisputed Fight In A Row For Savannah Marshall Co-Features On The Smith vs Eubank Jr 2 Undercard
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – (April 25, 2023) -– Repeat or revenge? All or nothing? A blockbuster night of box office boxing is locked in at AO Arena Manchester on Saturday, June 17 as Liam Smith faces Chris Eubank Jr in a high-stakes rematch and Undisputed Super-Middleweight champion Franchon Crews-Dezurn puts all her gold on the line against Savannah Marshall.
Months of build-up and high tensions in fight week set the stage for a classic encounter in January between Smith and Eubank, with the 20,000 fans inside the sold-out Manchester Arena joined by a huge television audience which set a new domestic pay-per-view record for the weight class.
With both fighters eager for a definitive finish, there was little in the way of a feeling-out process. Heavy leather was traded from the opening bell – and it was all over twelve minutes later, the referee stepping in to wave the fight off after Smith emphatically put Eubank Jr down twice in the first minute of the fourth round.
The result did little to settle tensions between the two men and they rose still further when Eubank’s team claimed one of the knockdowns had been the result of an illegal elbow strike. This incensed Smith, who saw it as a display of bad sportsmanship and Eubank refusing to admit Smith had been the better man on the night.
In summer those tensions will soar to new heights as both men return to Manchester Arena in June for a clash which will irrevocably change the course of their careers.
For former WBO world light-middleweight champion Smith (33-3-1, 20 KO’s), a second win will stamp his authority on the domestic division and set the stage for huge future world title opportunities as he continues his career renaissance under the BOXXER banner.
Liam Smith said: “I know he tried his best to go a different route but the fight is on now and I am looking forward to hearing what he has to say for himself in the build up. Let’s see what angle he comes with this time.
“He can’t come with angles about how he’s never been hurt, he’s never been dropped, he’s never been stopped, because he just had all three of those things happen to him in one night and it was me who did it to him. So I’m interested to see what he comes with this time and I’m also interested to see where he goes after I beat him again on June 17.
For Eubank (32-3, 23 KO’s), victory means redemption and revitalises the prospect of encounters with elite names on the world stage.
Chris Eubank Jr said, “Liam had the night of his life against me in January, the stars aligned for him in Manchester, and he went away with a big win. But lightning doesn’t strike twice. If he even has the slightest thought that he can beat me again, then great, because it will be his undoing.”
Smith vs Eubank Jr 2 Undercard
Savannah Marshall (12-1, 10 KO’s) will challenge undisputed world super-middleweight champion Franchón ‘FCD’ Crews-Dezurn in the co-headline bout.
Having headlined a record-setting event at London’s O2 Arena in an October challenge against Claressa ‘GWOAT’ Shields, Marshall’s return to the ring places her immediately in another high-stakes encounter against an undisputed world champion with the WBC, WBA, WBO and IBF world super-middleweight championships on the line.
Crews-Dezurn (8-1, 2 KO’s) began her second stint as WBO world super-middleweight champion in March 2020, captured the WBC title for a second time in June 2020 and then added the WBA and IBF belts in April 2022 to become undisputed world champion of the weight class.
For former world middleweight champion Marshall, the bout is a return to her roots: she commenced her professional career at super-middleweight, her first professional bout taking place on the undercard of the blockbuster Floyd Mayweather Jr vs Conor McGregor superfight which took place in August 2017.
Having once held the WBA Intercontinental Super-Middleweight Championship before moving up to middleweight and commencing her successful middleweight run, Marshall is going all-in on her return to the division and is aiming for immediate undisputed world champion status.
Franchón Crews-Dezurn said: “I’m so excited that my team and BOXXER were finally able to get this fight done. I’m looking forward to fighting in Manchester, England, especially against a competitor like Savannah Marshall, who has represented the UK for many years just as I have represented the United States for many years, including as amateurs.
“This fight has been over 10 years in the making and it’s going to be one for the history books. I love to elevate women’s boxing and put on a great display for the people here in the UK. The fans have embraced women’s boxing so much here and I’m coming for the win, regardless of being in Savannah’s backyard or any other adversity stacked against me. I’m full confident in myself and my team and I look forward to putting on a great show for the people.”
Savannah Marshall said: “I’m grateful to BOXXER and Hennessy Sports for getting this fight over the line. This is a big fight for me and a chance to become a two-weight world champion.”
Peter Kahn, Franchón Crews-Dezurn’s manager, said: “This is exactly what boxing needs. The best fighting the best. Champions fighting champions, deserving of a shot at undisputed. I have no doubt that Franchón and Savannah are going to entertain the fans in Manchester and around the world on June 17.”
Natasha Jonas (13-2-1, 8 KOs) will be defending her WBC, WBO, IBF and Ring Magazine Super-Welterweight titles.
The Merseyside favourite captured the gold with three memorable wins last year – two of those in Manchester – when she defeated Chris Namus, Patricia Berghult and Marie Eve Dicaire.
Her incredible hat-trick of feats saw her named the first-ever woman to claim the coveted British Boxing Board of Control Fighter of the Year award. An opponent will be named in due course for Jonas.
And in a huge domestic battle, British Super-Middleweight champion Mark ‘Kid Dynamite’ Heffron (29-2-1, 23 KOs) will defend the prestigious Lonsdale Belt against Zak Chelli (13-1-1, 6 KOs).
Chelli delivered a stunning, career-best performance to defeat American prodigy Anthony Sims Jr back in February. And having recently been mandated for the British title, the Londoner will now be hoping to cause a mighty upset in the North West when he stands toe-to-toe with Oldham native Heffron – who is a Champs Camp stablemate of Jonas under the tutelage of two-time trainer of the year, Joe Gallagher.
Edited By Darshan Desai