Savannah Marshall insists she’s focused on next clash with Femke Hermans, though finalized deal to fight Claressa Shields is ‘a matter of days’, promoter Ben Shalom says

Savannah Marshall has told talkSPORT she is unwavering in her focus for her clash with Femke Hermans this Saturday night at Newcastle Arena.

This comes despite promoter Ben Shalom tell Sky Sports that a finalized deal is imminent for one of the biggest fights in women’s boxing history between her and Claressa Shields.

Mark Robinson/Matchroom

Marshall trains with Peter Fury, who is the uncle of heavyweight champion, Tyson

“The negotiations are barely coming to an end now,” Shalom said. “It’s only a matter of days before we finish this. I’m already thinking of Savannah-Claressa, it’s the first fight we wanted to do when we arrived at Sky.

“It’s a fight they both want, you need big rivals, women’s boxing has probably always struggled with that as it develops as a sport in its own right.

“This is the first fight in women’s boxing where there is real rivalry and dislike. I think it’s going to go off the scale in terms of women’s boxing.

Shields will be ringside for Marshall’s fight against Hermans on Saturday night, but the Briton told talkSPORT she was not concerned about Shields’ appearance.

Marshall said: “In everything I do, Claressa is high, but it’s been going on for four or five years, so really, it’s nothing new for me.

“I’m pretty tunnel-viewed anyway… Claressa has always been lurking in the background, so this Saturday is no different.”


This will be Savannah Marshall's third defense of her WBO world middleweight title

This will be Savannah Marshall’s third defense of her WBO world middleweight title

Marshall was at ringside for Shields’ final outing against Ema Kozin at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena and the pair nearly came to blows during the post-fight interview as they exchanged words.

“I thought she was going to gouge my eyes out at some point,” Marshall joked. “I’m just glad security was there to hold her.”

She was a version of Marshall we hadn’t seen before, as she’s usually quiet and sweet.

But Marshall explained his outburst to talkSPORT, saying: “You can only sting the dragon a certain number of times.”

Shields argues with Marshall at ringside in Cardiff

Shields argues with Marshall at ringside in Cardiff

When it comes to his Saturday night fight, Marshall comes up against Hermans, who went the distance with Shields in 2018 but lost via unanimous decision.

“I expect a tough night from Femke,” Marshall said. “She’s tough, durable and a former world champion, so I expect a good tough fight.”

Marshall will be looking to continue her seven-fight knockout streak, but she will have her work cut out because Hermans has never been stopped before.

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