Savannah power shows sets up crack at World Championships

Savannah Marshall
Savannah Marshall

First Britain and now the world.

Savannah Marshall has swatted aside her domestic rival and can now look ahead to trying to regain the World title and qualify for the Olympics.

The Hartlepool fight star won the GB Championship last night in Sheffield, where she outpointed Natasha Gale in the middleweight showpiece.

It was a superb performance from the 24-year-old Poolie.

Defeat to the new sensation, who has come from nowhere to be part of GB’s podium squad, and Marshall’s place at next year’s World Championships in Kazakhstan and the European qualifier for the Olympics would have been thrown into doubt.

But Marshall turned up the power, speed and quality to defeat her 25-year-old rival from Yorkshire.

It means Savannah will almost certainly represent Team GB at the Olympic qualifier in Turkey in April and the Worlds in Turkey the following month.

The Headland ABC star felt her form had been coming back over the last couple of months.

She reached the final of the Feliks Stamm in September in Poland, where she lost to world number two, Nouchka Fontijn, before winning the Queens Cup last month in Germany against home favourite Sarah Scheurich

And success in the Steel City last night confirmed her resurgence.

“I’m feeling really good and strong,” she told SportMail.

“I think having so long out with injury at the start of the year affected me, it’s hard coming back.

“I just need to be boxing regularly.

“I’ve had the Feliks Stamm and the Queens Cup and now this so I feel it’s coming.

“Before that I had two or three bouts then six months break, I never had a proper run of competitions.

“I got the silver at the Feliks Stamm and won the Queens in Germany and now this.

“I do feel as though I’m getting back to my best.”

It certainly appeared to be the case last night at the English Insititute of Sport.

Gale charged out and landed a strong early right, but the 2012 World champion settled and edged the first.

After instructions from GB coach Lee Pullen and her Headland boss, Tim Coulter, Marshall really got into her stride in round two.

She got her jab working smoothly and while the two middleweights landed one good right apiece, it was Savannah who was finding the target on a regular basis.

Marshall got through with both fists and while Gale landed with a couple of individual punches, the round was the Poolie’s, ending it with a right-left-left salvo.

It got even better in the third with a left-right-left combination and when she got through with a two-punch combo, the referee gave Gale a standing eight count.

Marshall dominated the last, landing to head and body, and when she hammered in another right to her opponent’s head, Gale was given another standing count. “I’ve sparred loads with her and I knew she was going to come out and try to kill me,” Marshall explained.

“I know what she can do, she’s really good and she’s beaten some top girls this year.

“And I know from our sparring that she is strong

“It was more the occasion which I found more difficult, there were nerves, I knew I had to win.

“Natasha fancied her chances but I was confident I could beat her.”