Crews-Dezurn regains title after foe fails test


Franchon Crews-Dezurn has one of her women’s super middleweight world titles back.

The WBO announced that it has reinstated Crews-Dezurn as its 168-pound titlist in the wake of a positive drug test by Alejandra Jimenez.

Jimenez won a disputed split decision over Crews-Dezurn to claim her unified WBO and WBC belts on Jan. 11 at the Alamodome in San Antonio on the Jaime Munguia-Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan undercard. However, the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association collected a urine sample from Jimenez the day before the fight, and when it came back on Jan. 24, it was positive for a banned substance — the steroid stanozolol. Both Jimenez’s A and B samples tested positive.

On Feb. 10, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, which oversees professional boxing in the state, suspended Jimenez (12-0-1, 9 KOs), 32, of Mexico, and overturned the result of the bout to a no decision. Crews-Dezurn (6-1, 2 KOs), 32, of Baltimore, whose lone loss came to three-division champion Claressa Shields in their 2016 pro debuts, then petitioned the sanctioning bodies to reinstate her as their world titleholder.

The WBO, explaining its ruling in a 10-page resolution, said it gave Jimenez the opportunity to give her side of the story and to submit any relevant evidence to the sanctioning body but she and her representatives did not. Therefore, the WBO stripped Jimenez and reinstated Crews-Dezurn.

Jimenez has the right to appeal the decision in writing within two weeks.

“Justice has been served,” Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya, Crews-Dezurn’s promoter, said in a statement Friday. “The WBO has made the correct decision by reinstating ‘The Heavy-Hitting Diva’ as its super middleweight world champion. Although these things take time, it is always great to see justice in action, especially in the sport that I love the most. We hope that others follow suit in recognizing her as the champion, and we look forward to her ring return in the near future.”

De La Hoya was making a clear reference to the WBC, which has not reinstated Crews-Dezurn.

The WBC has provisionally suspended its recognition of Jimenez as its world titleholder but said in a statement earlier this week, “At this point it is uncertain how long it will take for the WBC to complete its investigation and evaluation of Ms. Jimenez’s adverse finding and to thoroughly consider Ms. Jimenez’s position and arguments disputing the adverse finding.

“Ms. Crews-Dezurn and her team have interposed a formal protest to the WBC concerning the outcome of her bout against Ms. Jimenez in light of the adverse finding. The WBC and Ms. Crews-Dezurn’s team are communicating with each other concerning that matter.”

The WBC also said that, while it maintains its provisional suspension of Jimenez as its titleholder, it will “order a bout between Ms. Crews-Dezurn and the highest-rated available contender in the division” for the title.

“Once the investigative and adjudicative process of Ms. Jimenez’s adverse finding is concluded, then the WBC will determine Ms. Jimenez’s definitive status in the WBC and in her division,” the WBC said.

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