Savannah Marshall: Is Britain's undefeated world champion the hardest punching female fighter in the world?

Savannah Marshall has knocked out rivals with one clinical shot, and with flusters of hurtful punches. She has smashed some quickly and drowned others in the later rounds. More than one of her opponents have ended the fight shaking their head wearily.

“Savannah Marshall can put a hole in you,” her trainer Peter Fury growls. “She can hit. She can hit properly, as well.”

The undefeated WBO middleweight champion might be the hardest punching female fighter in the world on the cusp of the most intriguing women’s boxing match available.

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The much-vaunted match-up against Claressa Shields, the decorated American whose brash talk is backed up by her stunning accomplishments, is edging nearer and victory would establish Marshall as the pound-for-pound No 1 in the women’s game.

Katie Taylor has a notable claim to that title but there is something different about Marshall and the power in her punches, the way she ends fights so suddenly, that is captivating.

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Marshall will next fight on October 16, live on Sky Sports. The dream fight with her rival Shields is being eyed up in the not-too-distant future.

Shields, like Marshall, has joined the new era with Sky Sports and BOXXER.

“I punch too hard for Shields,” she warned after her most recent stoppage. “I do. Far too hard.”

She added: “For the first time ever, we’re both on the same page. I’m thrilled, there’s big moves to be made.

“It’s the biggest fight in women’s boxing history.

“We’ve both signed with BOXXER and Sky, we’re on a collision course.

“I’m smarter than Claressa, I hit harder.”

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Shields is a two-time Olympic gold medallist, three-weight world champion and is undisputed in two divisions. Her accolades are staggering but there is a single, tiny blemish which would have been long forgotten had it not continued to follow her.

Her sole defeat, amateur or pro, was dished out by Marshall.

A rematch in the pro ranks would become the Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury of women’s boxing, the single biggest fight that the sport could deliver.

‘The Silent Assassin’ is perhaps an unlikely claimant to such a lofty position but she has evolved into a truly elite boxer under the stewardship of trainer Peter Fury since an awkward start to her pro career.

After two Olympic appearances which left her “bitter”, she was ready to quit boxing until an unlikely offer to turn professional with Floyd Mayweather’s promotional company.

A dream move to Las Vegas soon turned sour and, after a debut early in the afternoon in an empty arena on the undercard to Mayweather’s final fight, Marshall returned to the UK and reinvented herself.

Peter Fury, who led his nephew Tyson Fury to the sublime win over Wladimir Klitschko, has morphed Marshall into an elusive mover and a thudding puncher.

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“I was your typical Olympic boxer – hands up, forwards and backwards in straight lines, bouncing,” she tells Sky Sports.

“I used to constantly have blisters on my feet. Since training with Peter I do twice as much footwork but don’t have blisters. Peter calls it gliding.”

She has knocked out eight of her 10 opponents, fearsome figures for the women’s code. Her capture of the WBO middleweight belt (targeted instead of a higher division because “what woman wants heavyweight after her name?”) against Hannah Rankin is one of the most punch-perfect displays in female fight history.

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Amanda Serrano has 30 KOs to her name but what would separate Marshall is coming good on her promise to stop her great rival Shields.

“I do think that will take it to the next level,” she says.

“The rivalry we have, and also our personalities. She has the Mayweather effect – some people will tune in just to see her get beaten. And she loves that.

“Whereas I’m a lot quieter.”

She smirks: “I’ve got that win over her.”

If she can repeat it, there can be no questioning Marshall’s status as the No 1 female boxer in the world, and the most savage puncher.

Sky Sports Boxing schedule

September 11
Oscar Valdez vs Robson Conceicao – WBC super-featherweight title

September 25 – Sky Sports Box Office
Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk – IBF, WBA, WBO heavyweight titles
Lawrence Okolie vs Dilan Prasovic – WBO cruiserweight title

October 2
Chris Eubank Jr vs Sven Elbir
David Avanesyan vs Liam Taylor – European welterweight title
Richard Riakpohre vs Krzysztof Twardowski
Mikael Lawal vs Steven Ward

October 16
Savannah Marshall vs Lolita Muzeya – WBO middleweight title
Hughie Fury vs Christian Hammer

October 24
Jamel Herring vs Shakur Stevenson – WBO super-featherweight title

November 6
BOXXER tournament

December 18
Josh Taylor vs Jack Catterall – undisputed super-lightweight title

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