Savannah Marshall has no complaints after European Games exit to Nouchka Fontijn

Savannah Marshall
Savannah Marshall

Savannah Marshall had no complaints after falling at the first hurdle in the European Games, although she described the scoring as a “little harsh”.

The Hartlepool boxer was eliminated by her old rival, Nochka Fontijn, from the Netherlands in Baku yesterday.

I saw that I lost every round which I feel was a little harsh, but she was just a better boxer on the day

SAVANNAH MARSHALL

After only returning to the ring last month following surgery on a hand problem, a last 16 bout against the world number three and European Games favourite was not the most favourable of draws.

And the 27-year-old Dutch fighter, the highest-ranked competitor in the middleweight division in the Azerbaijan capital, took charge from the outset.

It was a grip she did not release and judges Jose Del Puerto Trueba (Cuba), Hyeok Lee (Korea) and Stefan Nordin (Sweden) all scored it for Fontijn.

Marshall, typically, made no excuses despite the disappointment of a second successive first-stage loss at a major tournament following an early elimination at the World Champonship last November in South Korea.

“I’m gutted,” said the Headland ABC star.

“I saw that I lost every round which I feel was a little harsh, but she was just a better boxer on the day.

“To be fair she’s world-class and I think she will go on to win the tournament.”

Fortijn admitted she saw Marshall as a medallist and praised her when she spoke to the press.

“I’m not sure whether it’s my best ever win,” she explained.

“I’m not so good at analysing my fights straight after the finish.

“We have a history of boxing against each other. Before today it was 1-1. I always felt I could beat her.

“It’s not easy because there is no seeding here.

“We probably both deserve a medal. There’s only one of us can go on.”

Marshall will look to re-group, not only with her Great Britain coaches at Sheffield but long-time coach and mentor at the Headland gym, Tim Coulter.

There are still 412 days before the opening ceremony at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, so there will be no need to press any panic buttons, either at the English Institute of Sport or at Northgate.

Between her London 2012 exit and the end of her reign as world champion, Marshall put together an unbeaten run including titles in every tournament she boxed at, including the Commonweath Games in Glasgow last summer.

She must now look to re-discover that sort of golden formin the coming months.

While there was an early fall for Marshall, her GB team-mate Nicola Adams hailed her return to top form as she eased into the quarter-finals of the flyweightsection.

She cruised through with a unanimous points win over Katalin Ancsin of Hungary and set up a Monday meeting with experienced Bulgarian Stoyka Petrova – the only fighter to beat Adams since her Olympic win.