Fashion With A Punch
Why do some fighters rise to become champions, whereas others retire without a single win? The trick is confidence, says Baltimore boxer Franchón Crews-Dezurn, “The Heavy-Hitting Diva.”
“If you’ve been training long enough, you might realize that no amount of training will ever give you complete assurance,” she says. “You can’t teach it; it’s an attitude.”
The current holder of a super middleweight title, she exudes some major confidence inside and outside of the ring. “I am probably the most successful boxer from Baltimore, male or female, and that’s because I don’t feel pressure to live up to anybody’s standards but mine,” she says.
In 2016, Crews-Dezurn lost her pro debut against another fighter, two-time Olympic gold medal winner Claressa Shields. But she didn’t let that setback faze her; she went on to win six fights in a row.
In September 2018, she beat Maricela Cornejo for the World Boxing Council (WBC) Super Middleweight title. And, one year later, she defeated Cornejo a second time, this time capturing the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) world title. As always, husband and trainer Glenn Dezurn cheered her on ringside.
“My husband has always been my biggest support system. I’m so thankful for him,” she says.
A self-described “creature of energy,” Crews-Dezurn admits she sometimes feels the weight of negative energy around her.
“Being a female in a male-dominated arena is hard, with the disparities and pay and opportunities and promotions,” she says. “But with every hardship, I look at it as a lesson and I’m just grateful. I don’t complain because it’s all part of my journey.”
She also has eyes on more than just a shiny boxing prize. Outside the ring, Crews-Dezurn designs clothing.
Growing up in Virginia Beach, Virginia, she created clothes for her dolls and pets. When she moved to Baltimore as a middle schooler, along with her mother, her passion for fashion only grew.
“I used to say that I was broke with expensive taste,” she says. “Some of the stuff I’ve always wanted to wear, I couldn’t afford or fit it, especially being athletic.” She taught herself to sew, buying a $25 sewing machine off Craigslist and making her own boxing uniforms.
“I didn’t like the uniforms that were provided when I was on Team USA, so I decided to make my own,” she says. “When I turned professional, I want to make a statement. I know I am not Beyoncé on the stage, but I’m going to be Beyoncé in the ring. I want that extra flair.”
Both ventures are propelling her forward: Crews-Dezurn continues to design clothes inspired by her boxing career. This year, she will also help train the new Olympic boxing team in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
“I’m a 12-year alumnus from Team USA. So that’s one of the ways I give back and also stay on an elite level of boxing,” she says.
And she will finish her degree in small business management. Oh, and hopefully win a few more fights. “I put everything into my brand and my business, and I use that as motivation to go harder,” she says. “I always want to win; I always want to get better.”