Hartlepool's Savannah Marshall thinks fellow British boxer could derail long-time American foe Claressa Shields

Savannah Marshall.
Savannah Marshall.

Hartlepool's own Savannah Marshall remains the only boxer to have beaten American Claressa Shields in the professional or amateur ranks.

It's a defeat that resonates with the 23-year-old from Michigan, despite the fact Shields has two Olympic gold medals and has won almost everything there is to win in the women's boxing game.

Marshall knows Shields will want to avenge the only blot on her record and admits she's open to the fight down the line.

For the time being, though Marshall is keen to focus on her moping up titles in her own division - super-middleweight - before dropping to take on Shields, who fights Hannah Rankin in Kansas this weekend with her IBF and WBA world middleweight titles on the line, as well as the vacant WBC strap..

And the former Headland ABC fighter believes come this weekend she might not be the only boxer to have beaten Shields - she thinks Scot Rankin could emulate that feat.

"Hannah, the one and only, is boxing this weekend. Who is she fighting?" joked Marshall in an interview with IFL TV.

"I think she will give Claressa a hard night.

"She has a tough task but Hannah is game. She will get in the ring with anyone.

"I would love to see Hannah win, she is a lovely girl. It is one for Claressa but I am not writing Hannah off."

Marshall believes it is only a matter of time before she shares the ring with Shields again, who she beat in the 2012 Women's World Championships in Qinhuangdao, China.

"We are best mates really - I am always talking about her," said Marshall, tongue-in-cheek.

"Whenever Savannah is mentioned she gets her props out - the two Olympic medals.

"Claressa has moved to middleweight - I would like to make a dent at this weight. I can't see her coming back up. I will go down at some point.

"Hopefully we will fight at middle."

Following her only loss six years ago, then 17-year-old Shields was quoted in her local newspaper, the Flint Journal, bemoaning the defeat.

At the time, she said: "She wasn't tough - she just ran the whole fight.

"I feel like I won, but the judges weren't giving me any points."

Shields' fight v Rankin will take place at the Kansas Star Arena, Mulvane on Saturday evening against Glasgow's Rankin.

Marshall won her weekend fight against Klaudia Vigh at the Victoria Warehouse, Manchester, to move to 5-0.