• Hotly-tipped Mark Jeffers steps in to replace injured Heffron in Commonwealth Silver Championship title clash against #1-ranked British super-middleweight contender Zak Chelli
  • Ben Whittaker set to wow audiences once again as he steps up to eight-rounds for test against the tricky Vladimir Belujsky
  • BOXXER: Crews-Dezurn vs Marshall airs live and exclusively in the UK and Ireland on Sky Sports

Manchester, England – (June 20, 2023) – Two guaranteed crowd-pleasers were today confirmed for the BOXXER: Crews-Dezurn vs Marshall card, with highly-rated Manchester area super-middleweight Mark Jeffers seizing a huge opportunity to replace the injured Mark Heffron in a Commonwealth Silver title clash with Zak Chelli and the sensational Ben Whittaker stepping up another level in Manchester’s AO Arena on Saturday July 1st, live on Sky Sports.

Heffron had been due to defend his Commonwealth Super-Middleweight Championship against Chelli (13-1-1, 6 KO’s) next weekend but was forced to withdraw last week due to an injury sustained in training. The undefeated and hotly-tipped Jeffers (15-0, 4 KO’s) saw an opportunity to step in and take a big scalp in a clash which now has the vacant Commonwealth Silver Super-Middleweight Championship on the line. 

Fighting out of the Manchester satellite town of Chorley – also home to Jack Catteral – the rising Jeffers is trained by Michael Jennings, whose own standout professional career took him all the way to the USA to lock horns with all-time great Miguel Cotto in New York’s legendary Madison Square Garden. 

Jennings has declared his Jeffers to be “twice as good as I was at the same age” and is confident of his fighter’s ability to step in on short notice and upset the surging Chelli, who carries career-best form into the bout as he comes off his dominant win over former WBA Intercontinental champion Anthony ‘The Magician’ Sims Jr in February.

Whittaker (3-0, 2 KO’s) won a silver medal for Great Britain at the 2020 Olympic Games and has won a legion of fans since entering the professional ranks last year, his supremely confident showboating style harking back to his idol ‘Prince’ Naseem Hamed and proving a huge hit with fight fans.

The Wolverhampton wonderkid has made no secret of his ambitions to fast-track himself to the bigtime: he went immediately into six-round fights after turning professional, skipping any four-round experience, and is now stepping up for an eight-round bout in what is only his fourth professional fight.

In Manchester he will take on Ireland-based light-heavyweight Vladimir Belujsky (13-6, 9 KO’s), a durable campaigner who has three times as many KO wins on his record as Whittaker has bouts. 

The heavy-handed Slovakian’s last UK visit saw him take Karol Itauma almost to the final bell of their eight-rounder, having earlier that year taken Jack Cullen eight rounds in the same Manchester arena he will now face Whittaker in. 

“Mark Jeffers is dangerous and talented. He will be stepping up to a huge opportunity to fight Zak Chelli after Mark Heffron pulled out via injury. I’m delighted to turn around such a great fight – possibly fight of the night – in a matter of days. Credit has to go to both guys for taking on such a big challenge,” said Ben Shalom, BOXXER founder and CEO.

“Zak Chelli is on a mission to prove himself the best super-middleweight in the country and he’s fearless in taking on anyone along the way. Chelli is a throwback fighter, he has that ‘anyone, anytime’ mentality and Jeffers is ready to meet him head-on, so I give full credit to both of them. They both know this is going to be a tough fight

“Ben Whittaker’s last performance got him on the radar of every sports fan in the country. He’s a once-in-a-lifetime type of talent and he’s said himself that he wants to be fighting at the top level as soon as possible. This will be his first fight over eight rounds. Vladimir Belujsky is tough, he’s tricky, but I think we’re going to see something special from Ben Whittaker once again in Manchester.”

BOXXER: Crews-Dezurn vs Marshall takes place Saturday, July 1st at the AO Arena Manchester and airs live and exclusively in the UK and Ireland on Sky Sports. 

The headline bout sees former world middleweight champion Savannah Marshall return to super-middleweight to challenge reigning champion Franchon ‘FCD’ Crews-Dezurn for the undisputed world championship in a clash which will be closely watched by FCD’s friend and Marshall’s bitter rival Claressa Shields.

This event is presented in association with official partners bet365, Everlast, WOW HYDRATE and Village Hotels.

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