Hartlepool boxer Savannah Marshall launches her second Olympic Games campaign against Swedish veteran Anna Laurell

Savannah Marshall
Savannah Marshall
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Savannah Marshall is a fighter, not a talker.

You will never see the 25-year-old chatting away on the Graham Norton Show or rubbing shoulders with Sylvester Stalone and Robert de Niro on the red carpet at a film premiere.

I believe she now deserves a place on the medal podium

Coach Rob McCracken

That is the domain of her friend and Team GB colleague, Nicola Adams.

The Leeds girl is a natural, bubbly, extrovert personality who can smile as well as she can box.

Marshall is a fighter, pure and simple, and for the next week we need to see her fists do the talking in Rio.

The Headland ABC middleweight launches her second Olympic Games campaign tomorrow against Swedish veteran Anna Laurell.

And how “The Silent Assassin” needs to fight if she is to make Rio 2016 the success that London 2012 was not.

If Marshall gets the better of the giant, two-time former world champion she faces the prospect of facing her nemesis, Nouchka Fontijn, from the Netherlands in the quarter-finals.

If she lays that bogey to rest, she would be scheduled to meet world number three Qian Li in the semis.

And then, the not-so-small matter of facing the furious fists of Claressa Shields, the first Olympic middleweight women’s champion, in the final.

But Savannah will be taking it one step at a time, may be not one punch at a time, her coaches will want more than that.

The boxer, who has dedicated herself to the sport since turning up at the Northgate gym, aged 12, has had her love tested since London by a series of injuries, surgery and first-round set-backs at major tournaments.

There have been successes too, it’s not been all gloom, and has won European Union, World Combat Games and Commonwealth gold over the last three years

But it was a bronze medal at the World Championships in May which has convinced Great Britain performance director, Rob McCracken, that the winner was back and ready to challenge for Olympic glory.

“She’s timed it just right,” said the man who guided Carl Froch to the top of the world.

“Savannah has spent the last 12 months working really hard, she’s had injuries which have set her back a long way.

“But the last 12 to 15 months she has really got it together, probably starting at the 2015 European Games in Baku.

“Savannah lost to the European Champion, but it was a close one, she’s really pushed on from there, shown great character to shake off a couple of knock-backs when she’s had close defeats.

“She’s never lost motivation at any point and deserved her place at the Olympics after winning bronze at the worlds.

“I believe she now deserves a place on the medal podium.

“We hope she can do that and she is certainly good enough.”