Savannah Marshall faces a must-win GB Championship final against Natasha Gale

Great Britain's Savannah Marshall poses during the Team GB Boxing announcement at the English Institute of Sport, Sheffield. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 11, 2012. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Great Britain's Savannah Marshall poses during the Team GB Boxing announcement at the English Institute of Sport, Sheffield. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 11, 2012. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

Savannah Marshall’s World Championship and Olympic hopes are on the line tonight.

The Hartlepool boxer faces a, potentially, must-win GB Championship final against new-kid-on-the-block Natasha Gale in Sheffield.

The Leeds girl, who boxes out of the steel city, has her sights set on representing Great Britain at the Olympics next summer.

There are only two qualifying events for Rio 2016 - the European Continental event in Turkey, from April 20 to May 1, and the Women’s World Championships in Kazakhstan, from May 16-28.

It is conceivable that Team GB could still send Marshall to the tournaments in Istanbul and Astrana, even if the unthinkable happened this evening and she lost to her new rival.

However, the Headland ABC star will not want to put that theory to the test,

Victory against Britain’s new middleweight talent is a must.

Marshall’s Headland coach, Tim Coulter, will be in the cormer of the 2012 world champion and 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist.

He is confident the 24-year-old Poolie will prove her position as Britain’s number one at U75 kilos.

Marshall returned to the top of the podium last month when he clinched gold at the Queens Cup in Germany, outclassing home star Sarah Scheurich in the final.

“Savannah is fit and raring to go,” Coulter told SportMail. “Everything is OK.

“I didn’t think she boxed as well as she can in he Feliks Stamm tournament in Poland [losing to world number two Nouchka Fontijn in the final].

“But when I saw tapes from the Queens Cup, it was the best she’s boxed for ages.

“She’s got to the final of her last two competitions, but this is not tournament boxing in Sheffield.

“This is a one-off and Savannah’s got to give it everything and box to how she can box.

“If she does, she should be better than Natasha.”

Gale is dangerous with a capital D and has strength with a capital S.

The 25-year-old has come from no-where to be a genuine contender, winning the President’s Cup in Turkey where she defeated world number four Li Qian in the final before taking bronze medal in the International Balkan Tournament, where she lost in the semis to giant Swede Anna Laurell.

Stoppages are hardly common place in the women’s game, but Gale enjoyed TKOs in both events and Marshall will have to be at the peak of her powers at the English Institute of Sport where her rival will be guaranteed big support in her adopted city.

Coulter added: “You don’t get many stoppages in women’s boxing so she’s obviously strong.

“Natasha lost to Anna Laurell, who Savannah’s beaten in her last two competitions, but you can’t really go on that, it’s about who performs on the night.

“This is a bit like the FA Cup, Natasha has nothing to lose and it’s down to Savannah to perform as I know she can.”

Hopes of a Hartlepool double at the EIS have been ruined by injury with Gus Robinson Developments teenager Adam Cope ruled out of the lightweight final against Luke McCormack because of back trouble.