Alejandra Jimenez’ story was a brilliant one. A 32-year-old single mother who used to fight as a heavyweight, she went all the way down to the super middleweight division for a Jan. 11 fight with Franchon Crews-Dezurn, and in a spirited, highly entertaining battle, took the WBC and WBO titles from the American.
There was the ugliness surrounding accusations made toward Jimenez, with the WBC fiercely backing her up, but now word is out that Jimenez (13-0-1, 9 KO) has failed her post-fight VADA drug test for an unknown substance.
Golden Boy, who promote Crews-Dezurn (6-2, 2 KO), have already released a statement from Oscar De La Hoya about the matter, and they say they’ll seek to have the belts returned to their fighter.
“As Franchon’s promoter, we are incredibly disappointed for her as she worked incredibly hard to defend her titles,” De La Hoya said in the release. “However, our job is to ensure the safety of our fighters both inside and outside of the ring.
“Thus, we have always insisted and supported testing through the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) for all of our world championship fights. Jimenez’ fight against Franchon Crews-Dezurn is no exception. Now our job is to find justice for Franchon by working closely with the WBC and the WBO in order to re-instate her as a world champion.”
There’s certainly no guarantee here about what will be done. Just handing the belts back to Crews-Dezurn seems unlikely, even if it were actually the right thing to do. And depending on the specifics of the failed test, we may see nothing done. It’s not like the WBC, for instance, in spite of all their “clean boxing” bluster, don’t have a history of letting this sort of thing slide, as they did when Luis Nery failed a drug test following his win over Shinsuke Yamanaka. They ordered a rematch, but did not strip Nery of the title, and the win sits on his record as if there was nothing odd about it.
So we’ll see, but obviously first impression is this sucks, and you have to feel for Crews-Dezurn, who fought her ass off on what appears to have been a non-level playing field.