Savannah Marshall’s aiming to blow away Gale threat to become best of British

Savannah Marshall.
Savannah Marshall.

Savannah Marshall may have already conquered the world, but now she has the task of proving she’s the best of British.

The Hartlepool boxer takes part in the GB Championships in Sheffield on Thursday.

Marshall will face new kid on the block, Natasha Gale, in the battle to be Britain’s title holder and, almost certainly, the boxer who will represent the country at the World Championships next year.

It is remarkable to ponder the 24-year-old even has a rival from this country and even more impossible to contemplate she could lose.

With the exception of Welsh southpaw Lauren Price, who had a brief run in the 75 kilo division, Marshall has had no challenger over the last six years to her role as Britain’s number one.

The Headland ABC star became GB’s only second-ever world champion (male or female) in 2012 when he took gold on her 21st birthday in China and was the planet’s number one middleweight until last November.

Marshall has got back to fitness this year following hand surgery at the end of 2014 and, thankfully, has also returned to form.

She won silver at the Feliks Stamm Memorial tournament in Poland in September, when she lost in the final to arch-rival Nouchka Fontijn, from the Netherlands.

But better was to come last month in the Queens Cup in Germany, where she defeated home favourite and world number seven, Sarah Scheurich to clinch her first gold medal since the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

However, while Marshall has been on the comeback path, Gale has been on a great journey of her own.

After taking up boxing just two years ago, the Sheffield girl won the ABA Championship earlier this year with a unanimous victory over the Army’s Alex Turbitt.

She was also added to GB Boxing’s podium potential squad, training at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield, where she has sparred with Marshall.

GB have taken her to a couple of overseas tournaments, where she has enjoyed great success.

The 25-year-old struck gold at the President’s Cup in Turkey where she defeated China’s World Championship silver-medallist Li Qian in the 75 kilo final.

And the Jubilee ABC talent shone again by securing a bronze medal in the International Balkan Tournament earlier this month, when she lost to former world champ Anna Laurell in the semi-final.

Marshall v Gale is one of three female GB finals at the EIS with nine finals in the men’s section.

It is a big night for Hartlepool with Gus Robinson Developments teenage prospect Adam Cope fighting international star Luke McCormack in the U60 kilo final.

Cope reached the ABA Championship semi-finals in April, fighting with great distinction before losing on points to McCormack in the last four.

But the 19-year-old certainly let the Birtley boxer know he was in a fight and will relish the opportunity of looking to upset the odds here and impressing GB Boxing Performance Director, Rob McCracken.