Savannah Marshall opens up on her on-going feud with Claressa Shields

Savannah Marshall defends her women’s WBO middleweight title against Femke Hermans in Newcastle on Saturday night before a summer showdown with bitter rival Claressa Shields

Savannah Marshall and Claressa Shields are not best of friends

Savannah Marshall is fired up for round two of her verbal fisticuffs with Claressa Shields.

Shields will be ringside at Newcastle’s Utilita Arena on Saturday night when Marshall faces Femke Hermans and the unbeaten WBO women’s middleweight champ is expecting fireworks from the American. Marshall upset Shields when she told her “she would wipe the floor with her” because he was so unimpressed with her last win in February and she is expecting her to hit back.

The undefeated Shields holds the WBC, WBA and IBF titles and the pair are building towards a huge undisputed showdown in Britain in July. Marshall, 30, knows that clash could be life changing for her, but knows she must deal with Hermans first. “Claressa’s going to be there in attendance on Saturday,” she told Mirror Sport. “I’ve got a job to do with Femke, get her out of the way and then I can think about Claressa.

“We’ll probably see each other afterwards and she’ll probably have something to say because I ruined her night last time, so I’m sure she will probably want to get me back. To be honest, what I said was off the cuff. I was half expecting her to say something to me and she didn’t. That caught me by surprise a little bit and it kind of just went from there.

“I was thinking ‘she’s going to have a go here’. She didn’t, I’d geared myself up for having a go back, so when she didn’t say anything I thought ‘why not do it anyway?’.”

Hermans took Shields the distance in 2018, although she lost every round, and the hard-hitting Marshall knows pundits will be keen to see if she can stop the Belgian. Marshall says it would be foolish to go looking for the knock-out against the durable Hermans, who has never been stopped and who is a former WBO super-middleweight champ.

Savannah Marshall defends her WBO title against Femke Hermans



The Hartlepool fighter intends to fight her own fight as she headlines for the first time in her native North East. “Yeah, definitely,” said the 2012 world amateur champion. “I think that’s what people will be asking – can I stop her?. But take nothing away from Femke, she is probably my toughest fight to date.

“She’s a former world champion. She’s only ever lost to world champions so I’m expecting a tough night. I’ve never really been interested in what other people have to say. I know everyone will be saying she took Shields the distance, so I have to stop her. But I like to think I know a bit about boxing and things don’t just work like that.

“Definitely, if I see the shots and I can stop her inside the distance, I will. Femke is a formidable opponent and he’s never been stopped in all of her 15 fights. I’m expecting a very tough night from Femke. But I’ve trained hard, I know what I’ve got to do, I believe in my skills and I believe I will be victorious.”

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