Saturday evening at the AO Arena in Manchester sees undisputed title action at the head of affairs, as Savannah Marshall goes back in at the deep end after her first loss last time out, and she challenges Franchon Crews-Dezurn for the WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO super middleweight titles.
Ben Shalom’s BOXXER promote Marshall vs Crews-Dezurn and Sky Sports televise the card live in the UK, while ESPN+ wills stream the show in the USA.
Marshall (12-1, 10 KOs) won the vacant WBO belt at middleweight in October 2020, stopping Hannah Rankin in seven rounds, and after three stoppage defences, all roads led to an undisputed title super fight with her old amateur rival Claressa Shields, with the ’Silent Assassin’ winning their original meeting.
The Hartlepool native was well fancied to diffuse the brash American, but Shields proved why she is a pound-for-pound great by taking a clear points win at the O2 Arena in London last October.
The 32-year-old now attempts to bounce back in the ultimate way at a weight higher, with Crews-Dezurn (8-1, 2 KOs) standing in her way.
‘The Heavy Hitting Diva’ had her sole loss on debut, a four round points loss to common opponent, Shields and she won the WBC title in 2018 with a majority nod against Maricela Cornejo.
The 36-year-old added the vacant WBO strap in a rematch points win a year later and completed her collection in her last fight, a clear victory on the cards against the unbeaten WBA and IBF queen Elin Cederroos in April last year.
Prediction: Marshall starts a warm favourite in this one, but it could a lot closer than many expect. I think she will have the tools to come through on the cards, but she may have to survive an early test before pulling away after halfway.
Jonas bids to become world champion again
The undercard features more world title action, where Natasha Jonas, in an Indian summer of her career, attempts to become a two-weight world champion as she moves down to welterweight to challenge for the vacant IBF title against Kandi Wyatt.
Jonas (13-2-1, 8 KOs) had fallen short in tilts for world titles at super featherweight and lightweight, before taking the vacant WBO super welterweight title in February last year, where she stopped Chris Namus in two rounds.
The 39-year-old added the WBC title with a points win against Patricia Berghult seven months later, and rounded the year off with the IBF title too, outscoring Marie-Eve Dicaire.
Wyatt (11-4, 3 KOs) should be a straightforward job for the Liverpool native and she has lost four of her last seven outings.
The 32-year-old Canadian is coming off a points win against Kirstie Bavington in her last contest.
Prediction: Jonas is having a remarkable end to her career, and she can pick up another world title here in what should be a late stoppage.
Zak Chelli (13-1-1, 6 KOs) bides his time on a British title shot after original opponent Mark Heffron pulled out with an injury and the Londoner should stop the unbeaten Mark Jeffers (15-0, 4 KOs) inside their ten round distance at super middleweight.
2020 Olympic silver medallist, Ben Whittaker (3-0, 2 KOs) gets a second outing of 2023, and the confident light heavyweight can blow away the challenge of Vladimir Belujsky (13-6-1, 9 KOs). It’s set for eight rounds.
Last time out for Ben Whittaker 🥊👀 pic.twitter.com/eJY8dt8QPW
— Sky Sports Boxing (@SkySportsBoxing) June 26, 2023
Hot prospect, Callum Simpson (11-0, 9 KOs) is also on the card, and the Barnsley super middleweight may need the cards to defeat Boris Crighton (11-3, 7 KOs), who went the full ten rounds with Lyndon Arthur last year.