'What woman wants to be associated with the word heavyweight?' - Savannah Marshall insists she will return to super middleweight for Claressa Shields fight after world title bout in Newcastle

Marshall (left) alongside her friend and fellow north east fighter April Hunter (right) (Twitter: Matchroom Boxing)
11:07am, Thu 13 Feb 2020
CBAD8A00-D2B9-4E0E-ADDF-D0366C357A34 Created with sketchtool. E9A4AA46-7DC3-48B8-9CE2-D75274FB8967 Created with sketchtool. 65CCAE04-4748-4D0F-8696-A91D8EB3E7DC Created with sketchtool.

Savannah Marshall believes a fight between herself and Claressa Shields is still possible for 2020 despite her decision to move up in weight and fight for the WBO World Light-Heavyweight Title on April 4.

The 28-year-old Hartlepudlian will jump up to 175 pounds to take on Mexican Geovana Peres in Newcastle, while Shields recently moved down to 154 pounds to claim a world title in a third different weight class.

But Marshall, who is the only person to beat Shields having defeated her in the amateurs, is still confident a fight between the two can take place this year and insists the move up to light-heavyweight was not something she planned on doing.

Speaking to iFL TV, she said: "Yeah, definitely (I'll still fight Claressa this year). 

"This was just a random opportunity, I didn't even see it coming myself. But after this fight I'll be going back down to super-middle. 

"I've got business and dreams to achieve at super-middle. And what woman wants to be associated with the word heavyweight? Not me! Champion just makes it sound a bit sweeter."

Marshall is a north east fighter born and bred and will be one of a number of homegrown fighters on the Matchroom Boxing bill on April 4.

Newcastle's first female boxer April Hunter will also feature on the card, while the show will be headlined by Geordie fan favourite Lewis Ritson.

And the 2012 world amateur champion feels there is no better place for her to have her first world title fight.

"I'm over the moon," added Marshall. "To be given the opportunity where it's in my home city, it's in the north east. The reception I got in Newcastle last time was unbelievable so now to be doing it for a world title is a dream come true.

"She's not coming here for a holiday. Who wants to come to Newcastle for a holiday? So, it's a tough challenge, it's going up in weight. What light-heavyweight doesn't whack?

"I'm a lot of risk with no reward. I haven't got a world title. I've got an intercontinental with the WBA but with the women the mandatories aren't as strict because there aren't as many women. So if I can win this and then I've got something to bargain with."

Sign up to our newsletter