Hartlepool boxer Savannah Marshall beats Elena Vystropova at World Championship
Savannah Marshall has made a perfect start to her bid to qualify for the Olympic Games.
The Hartlepool boxer beat old foe Elena Vystropova at the World Championship in Kazakhstan, reaching the last 16 with a unanimous points victory.
Marshall was back to her best as she outfought and outclassed the Azerbaijan fighter she defeated to win gold at the 2012 Worlds in China.
All the judges scored every round for the Headland ABC boxer, who celebrated her 25th birthday yesterday.
Vystropova had pushed Marshallto the very limit in the 2012 final but today in Astana, Marshall took charge from the first bell.
Her jab was crisp and accurate and she then let go a series of left-right combinations, with her 28-year-old opponent landing just single shots.
After taking the round 10-9 on the judges cards, the Commonwealth Games gold medallist was forward again in the second round, her left not missing the target, to either the head or body.
Vystropova, knowing she was two rounds down, came out strongly for round three, but a long right from the Poolie and a body combination soon had her on top again.
Referee Martin Tadic had told off the Azer fighter for holding several times and just before the end of the round warned her and docked her a point.
It meant Marshall had one foot in the last 16.
Ahead of the final round, GB coach Lee Pullen told his boxer to kep it “tidy”, adding “busy, busy, busy” and Savannah followed orders to control the last two minutes.
She won 40-35 on each scorecard and now meets Pooja Rani, of India, in the next round on Sunday.
Marshall must reach the semi-finals to qualify for the Olympics.