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Dezurn and Crews: The couple that fights together stays together

Franchon Crews and her husband, Glenn Dezurn, work out at the University of Maryland gym downtown on Aug. 6, 2014.
Franchon Crews and her husband, Glenn Dezurn, work out at the University of Maryland gym downtown on Aug. 6, 2014. (Barbara Haddock Taylor / Baltimore Sun)

Glenn Dezurn and his wife fight all the time. Toe to toe. Tooth and nail. Pro boxers, the Baltimore couple are sparring partners who routinely whale the daylights out of each other, in the ring, in preparation for their next bout.

It seems the ideal marriage. Dezurn is undefeated (9-0) entering Friday night's super bantamweight fight against Adam Lopez (16-1-1), an eight-rounder at the Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Okla. (Showtime TV).

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Dezurn's wife, Franchon Crews, is 1-1, an eight-time national amateur champion and 2012 Olympic middleweight alternate.

Clearly, theirs is wedded bliss.

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"She has helped me a lot in my training," said Dezurn, 29.

"He's the best blessing I've had in my life," said Crews, 30.

Both attended Douglass High, but never crossed paths. A decade ago, they met in a Baltimore boxing gym, traded punches, fell in love and married five years later.

Franchon Crews was confused as she looked around the University of Maryland Medical Center's URecFit gym. The middleweight boxer was looking for her training partner, Glenn Dezurn Jr., who had gone to the bathroom without her noticing.

"Glenn was there for me during the Olympic trials. He kept me focused and helped me care for my mom and cat," Crews said. "He's my guardian angel. I am so grateful to have him as a mate."

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She calls him "Short Man." He calls her "Big Mama." But Dezurn doesn't treat his wife with kid gloves in the ring.

"I don't look at her as a woman, but as a fighter," he said. "I don't pull no punches for nobody."

At 5 feet 4, he gives away 3 inches and nearly 30 pounds to Crews, whose moniker is "The Heavy-Hitting Diva."

"It's very intense when we spar," she said. "I know I have to be on point, or it's trouble. He has knocked the hell out of me, but he loves me and has never hurt me. I've been a little buzzed, but we just keep going.

Baltimore native Glenn Dezurn Jr., shown before a recent fight, will put his undefeated record (9-0, 6 KOs) on the line against Adam Lopez (16-1-1, 8 KOs). They fight Friday night at the Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Okla.
Baltimore native Glenn Dezurn Jr., shown before a recent fight, will put his undefeated record (9-0, 6 KOs) on the line against Adam Lopez (16-1-1, 8 KOs). They fight Friday night at the Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Okla. (Showtime)

"We have a size difference, so I can hit pretty hard, too. I've gotten him good, but Glenn is very elusive, like a damn Tasmanian devil."

Never are differences at home settled in the gym, she said.

"If we have an argument, we don't take it out on each other in the ring. We settle it at home," Crews said. "Then he goes into his man cave, I go to my sewing room, and we're good."

She makes her husband's boxing outfits, both tops and trunks. The couple live on Paca Street in West Baltimore, where Dezurn was raised. Both his parents had drug problems, so he was raised by a great aunt, Denise Cole. At Douglass, he played football and baseball and made The Sun's 2006 All-City wrestling team at 130 pounds.

"I had my ups and downs, growing up in a drug neighborhood," Dezurn said. "I had to do something constructive to stay out of trouble. At 15, I began to take boxing serious. I loved it; it gave me confidence."

He likes his chances against Lopez, 26, of San Antonio, who is ranked 15th by the North American Boxing Federation. Dezurn is No. 20, with six knockouts among his nine victories.

"I know Glenn is going to win," Crews said. "He trains extremely hard, is focused and fights with passion. To lose, they'd have to carry him out on a stretcher. A lot of today's fighters are flashy and flamboyant, but Glenn fights with an old-school swag, with a blue-collar will, for his family."

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