Hartlepool boxer Savannah Marshall to face old rival Pooja Rani at World Championships
Savannah Marshall will face another old foe when she takes her next step towards reaching the Olympic Games.
The Hartlepool boxer beat Elena Vystropova to make it through to the last 16 of the World Championships in Kazakhstan, where she will now face Pooja Rani.
The Headland ABC middleweight already boasts a significant win against the Indian, having beaten her en route to Commonwealth Games gold in 2014.
Yesterday’s victory over Vystropova was an action replay of the 2012 World final and Marshall’s Headland ABC coach, Tim Coulter, wants another repeat against Pooja Rani tomorrow night in Astana.
“I’m over the moon with Savannah,” said the trainer.
“It was very close the time Savannah beat Elena in China.
“But not yesterday, it was very convincing.
“I’ll be saying ‘same again’ to Savannah for tomorrow night.
“Rani is a good boxer from a strong boxing nation, India have some very fine fighters at the moment, and she was one of the favourites coming into the Commonwealth Games.
“Savannah beat her in Glasgow and will need a good performance tomorrow after Rani beat the Ukraine girl.
“I think the tactics will be similar to yesterday and Savannah will look to overpower her.
“If Pooja comes at her, she needs to let her shots go.
“That’s one of the things that pleased me most yesterday.”
But Coulter was most impressed by the mental fortitude from his boxer who needed to win to keep alive her hopes of qualifying for the Olympics in Rio.
Twice in the last three major competitions she has crashed at the first hurdle, but not this time.
“When that happens, your confidence is bound to be affected,” he said. “Her back was against the wall, but she showed her mettle.
“Her career was on the line and she delivered when she had to.
“I’m not saying that she’s going to get gold because she’s won one fight.
“But her first fight is traditionally her worst and she improves after that.
“There are hard fights to come, like Rani, but she has cleared the hardest hurdle and I’m confident it’s a case of onwards and upwards for her.
“Her belief will have gone up, her fitness looked good and there was nothing wrong with her performance.
“I’ll be looking for another show like that tomorrow.”