Coach tips Savannah Marshall for Russian victory

BOXER AND COACH: Savannah Marshall and her coach Tim Coulter at the Headland gym
BOXER AND COACH: Savannah Marshall and her coach Tim Coulter at the Headland gym

SAVANNAH Marshall will today look to repeat one of her best wins of 2013 when she bids for a place in the quarter-finals at the World Championship.

The Hartlepool boxer faces Russia’s new kid on the block Iaroslava Iakushina in the stand-out tie of the last 16 stage in South Korea.

It signals the entrance into the competition of the defending middleweight champion as she tackles the reigning World Youth Champion.

Iakushina has deposed world number two Nadheza Torlopova – who Marshall defeated in the semi-finals in China two years ago – as the leading Russian U75 kilo girl and will be a difficult hurdle to clear.

But Marshall already boasts a win over the 21-year-old.

The Headland ABC star outpointed Iakushina en route to the World Combat Games final in Russia 13 months ago.

Marshall overcame a hard first round to outbox the southpaw and win on a unananimous decision in St Petersburg before defeating China’s Qian Li in the final.

And her club coach, Tim Coulter, believes the Russian will be facing a “better” boxer in Jeju Island today.

“Savannah was just coming back after injury at the World Combat Games,” said the Headland ABC boss.

“She’d had a long spell out and was not at her best.

“I know at the time she said she’d struggled a bit in the first round but knowing Savannah it probably means that she wasn’t perfect!

“Savannah won comfortably and I know she’ll approach today’s fight professionally.

“The Russian is obviously very good – she’s their top fighter now.

“But the Savannah she is boxing is a better Savannah than she fought in St Petersburg.”

Iakushina will go into the contest fully of confidence after she demolished Costa Rican champion Emily Jimenez inside round one of their last 32 contest yesterday.

Jimenez had no answer to the World Youth champion Iakushina, the 21-year-old southpaw landing at will, the referee handing out three standing counts in fairly quick succession.

After the third count, the official halted the contest with Iakushina now meeting the Hartlepool boxer on the evening session at the Halla Gymnasium.

If succesful, defending world champion Marshall could face Olympic gold medallist Claressa Shields in the last eight.

The American enjoyed a blink-and-you-will-miss-it victory in her bout against Hellen Baleke yesterday.

The ring walks and announcements lasted longer than the fight itself – as soon as Shields landed a long overhand right, the Ugandan corner threw in the towel after three seconds.

With the stunned referee accepting the retirement, Shields progressed to a last 16 contest with Poland’s Lidia Fidura, who outpointed home hope Suyeon Choi from South Korea on a unanimous points decision.

There was success for Marshall’s England team-mate Lisa Whiteside yesterday when she progressed to the quarter-finals with a win over Thailand’s Sopida Satumrum in the U51 kilo division.