Savannah Marshall proud to be part of AIBA women’s world boxing championship in South Korea

DEFENDING CHAMPION: England's Savannah Marshall
DEFENDING CHAMPION: England's Savannah Marshall

FEW boxers boast a better record than Savannah Marshall.

The Hartlepool fighter has been to two World Championships and returned home with silver and gold medals.

Marshall clinched silver in the U69 kilo division in Barbados in 2010, the teenager losing a desperately-close final to USA’s Andrecia Wasson.

But the Headland ABC boxer went one better in 2012 – striking gold in China, beating Elena Vystropova in the 75 kilo final on her 21st birthday.

It remains the greatest day of her life but her pride at her medal collection is almost matched by the pride of being at the biggest female world championship in history.

Marshall is one of 337 boxers from 74 nations in Jeju where the number of the participating countries will be the highest ever.

It is the eighth staging of a competition which was born in 2001 when 125 boxers from 30 countries turned up in Scranton in the United States.

The principal nations, such as USA, Russia, Ukraine, China, Kazakhstan and Turkey will be competing with a maximum number of 10 boxers.

Hungary, Kenya, Nigeria and Romania will also send full squads with England sending five boxers.

Marshall said: “It just shows how far women’s boxing has come over the years.

“This is the third worlds I’ve been to and it’s great to see more boxers and more countries than ever. To be part of something this big is special.

“Our team is a bit different to normal, there is no Nicky [Adams] or Natasha [Jonas].

“But we have a good team and we are all looking forward to it.”

Marshall says her titanic tussle with Vystropova in China two years ago brings back happy memories but they will count for nothing when the 2014 show stars tomorrow.

“Winning it on my 21st birthday made it even more special,” said Marshall.

“But this is a different tournament and I know I need to box at by best if I’m to do well here.”

It will be the first Worlds since the governing body changed the scoring system from the computer method – the point per punch – to the 10-point rule.

Now, ringside judges mark each round in the pro-style, either 10-9 or 10-8.

The Amateur International Boxing Association were responding to criticism that too many boxers were stealing fights, landing a punch then going on the run while aggressive fighters were not being rewarded for their ambition.

“I’ve seen the good and the bad sides to the new scoring,” Marshall said. “I’ve watched bouts when boxers have thrown the kitchen sink and still not got the decision.

“But I’ve seen the better boxers who have thrown the cleaner punches not getting it against those who just come forward but do not land the best shots.”