In another excellent weekend for women’s boxing, two Ring magazine champions saw action, and the results were quite different for both of them.
In the super middleweight division, Savannah Marshall grabbed the title from Franchon Crews-Dezurn in what turned out to be an ugly affair all around. Tons of holding and pushing, but Marshall got the job done to become only the second British female fighter to lift a Ring belt.
“A brawl is what I expected in CrewsDezurn vs. Marshall. It was up to Savannah as to whether she was going to fight that fight. And she did and she won,” said Lupi Guitierrez-Beagle of Beautiful Brawlers, while historian Malissa Smith called “an ugly, ugly fight. Marshall won by attrition if nothing else, and finally finding a way to avoid Crews-Dezurn’s right hand in the later rounds, began to actually box, but otherwise didn’t do herself any favors in terms of demonstrating her boxing prowess. Crews-Dezurn showed an occasional flurry, but otherwise moved slowly and used aggressive holding as her only strategy.”
With the win, Marshall is the new champion, and Crews-Dezurn drops to No. 2. With Christina Hammer out for inactivity, everyone else below maintains the same position.
In the same night, the very first British female to win a Ring title saw action when Natasha Jonas moved down to welterweight to face former title challenger Kandi Wyatt. Jonas dominated her foe with great resolve and poise, and scored an impressive win that failed to win her enough votes to rate her at welterweight (especially since her intentions about her weight situation are not clear at all and are subject to changes depending on availability of opponents) but it did gain her enough votes to move her past Mikaela Mayer in the pound-for-pound lists, with Jonas now occupying the No. 9 position.
In the lightweight division, Uruguay’s Maira Moneo improved to No. 4 with a win over Venezuela’s Alys Sanchez in Buenos Aires. The young dynamo had a lot of trouble with her awkward foe during the first half of the bout, but grew increasingly dominant to score a stoppage win that earned her the new position in the eyes of the majority of the panel.
“Moneo has a wild two-fisted attack and often leads with her head, but she might be the best Uruguayan female fighter of all time,” argued columnist Mark Jones, while Rincon Rojo magazine editor Irene Deserti went as far as saying that Moneo’s victory was “another forgettable fight. Moneo has the strength of a train, but a very poor defense. Alys didn’t have enough punch to really hurt Moneo, because she landed almost every punch he threw.”
Argentine author and TV commentator Yesica Palmetta added that “I don’t like Maira Moneo at all. I don’t like her boxing style and how dirty it is, but victories are victories.”
Elsewhere, the long-awaited return of amateur superstar Beatriz Ferreira inspired the panel to give her the benefit of the doubt and bring her in to replace Leila Beaudoin at No. 5 in the junior lightweight division in spite of her 3-0 record so far.
“I’m glad that my favorite fighter Beatriz Ferreira is learning and improving, and seeming ready to enter the Ring ratings,” said Japan’s Yuriko Miyata, while Deserti argued that “Ferreira is emerging as a great promise. I think she did a great job, and this fight in which she had to fight the distance she learned more than if she had scored a knockout in the early rounds.”
Diego M. Morilla writes for The Ring since 2013. He has also written for HBO.com, ESPN.com and many other magazines, websites, newspapers and outlets since 1993. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and an elector for the International Boxing Hall of Fame. He has won two first-place awards in the BWAA’s annual writing contest, and he is the moderator of The Ring’s Women’s Ratings Panel. He served as copy editor for the second era of The Ring en Español (2018-2020) and is currently a writer and editor for RingTV.com.