Thursday, June 13, 2024

Boxer Savannah Marshall would prefer MMA clash with rival Claressa Shields

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Boxer Savannah Marshall would rather renew hostilities with long-standing rival Claressa Shields in a mixed martial arts fight than in the ring.

Marshall beat Shields as an amateur boxer before she lost to the American fighter via unanimous decision in 2022.

Two-weight undisputed champion Shields made her MMA debut for Professional Fighters League in 2021.

And Hartlepool fighter Marshall, who won on her MMA debut on Saturday, wants to settle the score by making history in PFL in the near future.

When asked which sport she would rather face Shields in, Marshall told the PA news agency: “At the minute probably MMA because it’s a different narrative and it’s never been done before.

“It brings back the question of ‘what can happen here?’. There’s little gloves, different disciplines. She got the last one in the boxing ring and there’s a lot more unanswered questions in the next one.

“It’s never been done before and this is the whole reason as to why I’m drawn to the whole MMA because it’s a different narrative which has never been done, there’s different aspects involved.”

Marshall defeated Franchon Crews-Dezurn by majority decision to become undisputed super-middleweight world champion last summer.

She insists that a rematch with Shields in PFL’s smart cage is the only fight which makes sense at this stage in her career.

“I want that rematch and I want it soon, to be fair, whether it’s in the cage or the boxing ring. At the minute it looks more than likely to be in the cage.

“She’s not stupid and she knows I’m a big fight for her either in the boxing ring or in the cage. Although there’s respect there, we both know that we both need each other in our careers.

“There’s no other fights out there for me and I think she’s realising that herself. I’m a little bit snookered, there’s no-one really else for me to fight, no big names really and so that’s why I’ve chased it.”

Shields lost via split decision to Abigail Montes in her second MMA bout.

Marshall believes she has adapted to the sport more than Shields, which would give her an advantage in a potential rematch.

She said: “There’s different disciplines and it’s about who has adapted the most. I understand that we’re both stand up fighters but I won’t want to go in there wanting to just punch.

“If that was the case then I’d hold out for the boxing match. There’s elbows, there’s kicks, yeah we’re a bit raw but if it’s not going my way then I won’t be standing up.

“She lays there on the floor and has no idea how to get back up. I do and so that for me is another added bonus.

“I’ve adapted a lot more to MMA.”

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