One fight at a time for Olympic boxing hope Savannah Marshall

FOCUSED: Savannah Marshall. Picture by FRANK REID
FOCUSED: Savannah Marshall. Picture by FRANK REID

SAVANNAH Marshall will not get distracted by the prospect of a London 2012 shoot-out with Claressa Shields.

That was the verdict of Headland ABC coach Tim Coulter on the eve of the historic start of female boxing at the Olympic Games.

The women will tape up their gloves for the first time tomorrow though Marshall’s only activity at the ExCel Arena will be to cheer on team-mate Natasha Jonas, who fights America’s Queen Underwood in the lightweight division.

Middleweight favourite Marshall must wait until Monday for her Olympic debut when she will meet the winner of tomorrow’s Marina Volnova v Elizabeth Andiego showdown.

There are three main talking points in the women’s game:

* THE expected battle for flyweight glory between China’s world number one Cancan Ren and GB’s Nicola Adams.

* CAN anyone beat lightweight heroine Katie Taylor?

* AND the potential Marshall v Shields shoot-out at the U75 kilo semi-final stage.

The pair clashed in the World Championships in China, Marshall outboxing the teenage sensation to inflict defeat on the girl who was a hot tip for gold.

Shields accused Marshall of “running” from her in Qinhuangdao and a re-match in London on Wednesday could be the fight of the Olympic Games.

And while Headland ABC coach Coulter said he was confident the 21-year-old World champ could repeat her win he insisted Shields was not even on Savannah’s radar.

“She is totally focused on her quarter-final, nothing else,” Coulter told SportMail.“When the draw was made I remember asking her ‘What does the other half look like?’.

“She told me off straight away and just said ‘one fight at a time’.

“I spoke to Savannah yesterday and she sounded in good fettle and now she just can’t wait to get started.

“She’s right, it’s got to be one contest at a time.”

SEE Saturday’s Mail for full story