Savannah Marshall defends WBO title and calls out American rival Claressa Shields

Savannah Marshall was victorious in her world title defence last night.

Sunday, 11th April 2021, 7:54 am

The Hartlepool-born puncher was set to make the first defence of her WBO middleweight title against Femke Hermans on the undercard of Conor Benn v Samuel Vargas.

But Hermans withdrew from their title bout after her coach tested positive for COVID-19.

That meant that Marshall fought four-time world title challenger Maria Lindberg on Saturday instead

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Savannah Marshall.

Indeed, Marshall, 29, made light work of the replacement and won the contest via a third-round knockout.

And following the bout, Marshall called out American rival Claressa Shields.

“I punch too hard for Claressa Shields. I do, I punch far too hard, and she doesn’t want to know. She’d much rather roll about in the Octagon, she’d much rather call out Katie Taylor, who’s four weight classes below her. She doesn’t want to know,” Marshall said after the win.

“I’m not going wait about forever for her. I’d like to get out again this summer, get another title. The IBF’s vacant at my weight. If not, I’d like to go back up to super middle, get one of the titles off the girls up there. And then, if Claressa gets some guts, a big showdown at the end of the year.

Speaking after the fight, Marhsall’s promoter Eddie Hearn said: “I’ve had a number of calls with (Shields’ team).

"They know how dangerous the fight is. They want a load of money and I’m prepared to pay a load of money, because I think it’s a tremendous fight. And I’ll back (Marshall) every day of the week,” he said.

“I love Claressa Shields, I think she’s great. I think she’s done such a great job for women’s boxing.

“There is no way she goes 10 rounds with Savannah Marshall. Savannah Marshall is the only girl to beat Claressa Shields in her entire life. She beat her in the amateurs, she will beat her in the professionals.

"And I rate (Shields)! I think she’s tremendous, I think she’s a pound-for-pound top three. But she cannot — she’s wide open, she can’t stand up to her power. (Marshall) is the hardest pound-for-pound puncher in (women’s) boxing, unquestionably, and she’s doing it not even going through the gears. It’s so natural.”

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