Franchon Crews-Dezurn and Other Champion Fighters Looking Forward to 2023
By David A. Avila
(Photo by J.P. Yim)
After a sizzling 2022 that saw women’s boxing reach epic proportions with sold out arenas and televised events surpassing 1 million viewers, expect an even greater 2023.
Here is a baker’s dozen of the best and most entertaining fighters in the world who will be proving that last year was no accident.
Franchon Crew-Dezurn (8-1) – the undisputed super middleweight champion battered her way to all the titles with a blistering performance that was overshadowed by the mega showdown between Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano. She deserves her due recognition. It was quite a performance. Perhaps a match with Savannah Marshall can give her proper recognition.
Claressa Shields (13-0) – the undisputed middleweight champion and former undisputed super welterweight champion proved to all doubters that she indeed is the best female fighter in the world pound for pound. She also demonstrated that skills beat power with her abundance of fighting skills. In this last fight she showed off a more effective left hook.
Katie Taylor (22-0) – the undisputed lightweight world champion from Ireland along with Amanda Serrano pulled off the mega Fight of the Year for not just women’s boxing, but men’s boxing too. No other match in 2022 could equal the Madison Square Garden event last April. Will a rematch between the two take place in Ireland this year?
Amanda Serrano (43-2-1) – the Brooklyn fighter looks to become undisputed featherweight world champion and standing in her way is Mexico’s Erika Cruz the WBA titlist. They will meet next month on Feb. 4, at the Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden in New York City. Serrano seeks to be Puerto Rico’s first undisputed world champion.
Seniesa Estrada (23-0) – the East L.A. fighter will meet Tina Rupprecht to unify the minimumweight division titles in March at Fresno, California. After that, if successful, Estrada will probably meet Yokasta Valle later in the year. Estrada is one of the most exciting fighters below 118 pounds.
Alycia Baumgardner (13-1) – the Detroit-based fighter engaged in one of the more anticipated fights when she met Mikaela Mayer in a unification super featherweight clash last October. Now, Baumgardner seeks to be undisputed on Feb. 4, when she fights France’s Elhem Mekhaled it was announced Tuesday. She has become one of the more engaging fighters and was voted Fighter of the Year by this publication.
Ebanie Bridges (9-1) – Australia’s Bridges held audiences spellbound as she defended the IBF bantamweight world title and won by knockout. It was more proof that Bridges fights as good as she looks and also proved she’s a five-tool fighter in the entertainment world of prizefighting.
Mikaela Mayer (17-1) – Southern California’s Mayer continues to seek the biggest matches but now moves into the lightweight division. Her battle against Baumgardner was riveting and demonstrated the improved skills and tactics in women’s prizefighting. Mayer continues to seek the mega fights regardless of risk.
Chantelle Cameron (17-0) – the undisputed super lightweight world champion Cameron defended against undisputed welterweight champion and emerged victorious. It was another showcase for tactics and adaptation by both fighters. Will a rematch take place this year or will Cameron get a crack at Katie Taylor. One person willing to challenge Cameron is Las Vegas fighter Layla McCarter.
Dina Thorslund (18-0) – Denmark’s Thorslund only fought once in 2022, but expect more this year. The aggressive boxer-puncher could be part of a tourney between the four different bantamweight world titlists. This could be the moment the world discovers the blonde bantamweight champion.
Savannah Marshall (12-1) – England’s middleweight knockout puncher showed she can do more than just punch when she battled Claressa Shields this past October. The tall fighter can easily move up a division or two. Will she accept a challenge against Franchon Crews-Dezurn for the undisputed super middleweight championship?
Yokasta Valle (27-2) – Costa Rica’s Valle unified the light flyweight title with a majority decision win over Argentina’s Evelin Bermudez last November. Valle moved to Los Angeles early last year to add more pro style weapons and that proved beneficial. Now she is on the hunt for Seniesa Estrada. Expect them to clash this summer.
Natasha Jonas (13-2-1) – England’s slick southpaw moved up from super featherweight to super welterweight and proved that weight is not a problem. Her three wins against Chris Namus, Patricia Berghult and Marie Eve Dicaire proved Jonas does have superior boxing skills. A showdown with fellow Brit Terri Harper for undisputed super welterweight status should happen sometime this year.
More Fight News
Maira Moneo (12-1) defeated Erica Farias (27-7) by unanimous decision after 10 rounds on Friday Dec. 30. The South American lightweight title was held in Buenos Aires.
On Saturday Jan. 7, light flyweights Aldana Lopez (6-0) and Carolina Ferrari (3-1-2) meet 10 rounds in Paso Del Rey. Also, light flyweights Sol Cudos (4-0-1) and Micaela Cuello (0-2-2) meet six rounds; and super lightweights Lourdes Grand (0-0-1) and Aldana Pons (2-1-1) meet four rounds.
Jenny Tulcan (2-0) knocked out Yeimi Benitez (0-2) in the second round on Wednesday Dec. 28. The lightweight fight took place in Melgar.
Francia Bravo (23-5-2) won by technical knockout over Yenifer Rodriguez (12-8-2) in the fifth round on Wednesday Dec. 28. The lightweight bout took place at Santa Marta. Also, Destiny Owens (5-0) beat Angie Barcas (2-16) by decision in a super lightweight bout.
Diletta Cipollone (2-0) knocked out Dragana Golic (0-10) in the fifth round on Monday Dec. 26. The super bantamweight fight took place at Bologna. Also, super lightweight Pamela Sawa (3-0) beat Aleksandra Vujovic (5-23-2).
Silvia Bortot (11-1-1) beat Katarina Vistica (3-23) by decision after six rounds on Monday dec. 26. The super welterweight bout was held at Veneto.
Satsuki Ito (2-0) knocked out Wassana Kamdee (6-8) in the fourth round on Saturday Dec. 31. The super flyweight match was held in Tokyo.
Elif Nur (4-0) won by decision after six rounds against Karina Szmalenberg (14-56-4) on Tuesday dec. 27. The super featherweight contest was held in Pec.
Napaporn Ruengsuwan (5-3) knocked out Inthira Pengkrajom (2-1) in the fourth round on Wednesday Dec. 28. The featherweight match was held in Bangkok. Also, Kanyanat Chotchun (4-4) stopped Natchalika Uijaroen (0-1) in two rounds; Sumalee Tongpootorn (12-18-1) knocked out Supawadee Kabounram (0-5) in the first round of a featherweight fight.
On Saturday Jan. 7, lightweights Mia Ellis (5-1) and Karen Dulin (5-25-1) meet four rounds at Washington D.C.