A local boxer has a chance to become a world champion Thursday night in Las Vegas.
Franchon Crews-Dezurn says she is more than ready for her moment to shine, and her opponent had better be ready too.
“This is my coming out party and I feel like I'm where I'm supposed to be, at the time I'm supposed to be,” Crews-Dezurn said.
Crews-Dezurn has a 3-and-1 record as a professional. Her opponent Thursday night, Maricela Cornejo, has much more experience as a pro -- 12 wins and two losses..
The fight is being billed as “The Battle of the Divas.”
“My opponent's name is Maricela, 'La Diva' Cornejo,” Crews-Dezurn said. “But I'm the real diva, the Heavy Hitting Diva.”
Crews-Dezurn was one of the most accomplished female boxers anywhere in the world before turning pro.
She's a 15-time national champion and a five-time gold medalist at the Pan Am Games.
“Women's boxing is developing at a massive rate, and i think fights like this will help push it further,” Crews-Dezurn said.
She started boxing more than 15 years ago because she thought it might help her lose weight for her singing career. After a while she realized all the training had led her to her true calling -- in the ring: “I know how to take control of my body,” she said. “I stay fit. I don't abuse myself, and I just love the competitive nature of it. Like, where else can you go and punch people, get paid and win stuff!”
In training for this fight, Crews-Dezurn said she has been focusing on endurance. The fight is scheduled for 10 rounds; none of her earlier fights have been longer than six.
“I know that I'm the superior boxer, and I'm able to take it to levels that I don't think she can take it to. Whatever she shows me I'll have an answer for it,” Crews-Dezurn said.
She is dedicating Thursday's fight to her mother, who died back in 2016 after a battle with kidney disease.
When Crews-Dezurn is not boxing, she's working on getting her bachelor's degree in small business management and entrepreneurship. She sews her own robes and everything else she wears in the ring. What she has come up with for the title fight, she says, will be flashy enough for Las Vegas.
The fight should begin shortly after 8 p.m. Eastern Time, on ESPN.