Hartlepool & England boxer Savannah Marshall through to Commonwealth Games quarter-final


SAVANNAH Marshall opened up her Commonwealth Games programme with a convincing points success over Pooja Rani

Marshall, favourite for the middleweight gold in Glasgow, was a unanimous points winner over the Indian, taking all four rounds at the Scottish Exhibition & Conference Centre

The Hartlepool star, who has not boxed since striking gold at the World Combat Games in Russia last October, will be pleased to have shaken off any ring-rust.

She will now face Botswana’s Pearl Morake in the last eight on Wednesday night.

Given Marshall’s long absence, Rani came out firing at the SECC in a bid to unsettle the 23-year-old.

But while the Indian was not short of aggression, the Headland ABC U75kilo ace produced the cleaner boxing.

Marshall put Rani down twice with lefts late in the round, though the referee ruled neither as knockdowns.

The reigning world champion took the round 10-9 on all the judges scorecards and it was the same after the second session, which was a little scrappy.

Marshall stayed in control in the third, one right-left-right combination standing out.

Rani emerged strongly for the last round knowing she needed to stop the Poolie if she was going to go through.

But Marshall moved well and fired off a couple of left-right combinations and a series of strong rights to the head and body of the 25-year-old to finish on a high.

Elsewhere in the first round, one of Marshall’s rivals at Glasgow, two-time world champion Ariane Fortin began in style with a unanimous points win.

Savannah had also identified Australia’s Kaye Scott as a dangerous opponent and she reached the quarter-final by outboxing Elizabeth Andiego, from Kenya.

Talented Welsh boxer Lauren Price also came through strongly with a unanimous points win over Guyana.