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'Savannah Marshall is by far the hardest female puncher in history', says Peter Fury ahead of Claressa Shields showdown

Savannah Marshall is "prepared for absolute Armageddon" ahead of the Claressa Shields undisputed championship clash; Peter Fury could play a crucial role in the Shields fight and reveals to Behind the Ropes on Sky Sports how Marshall changed his own perceptions of the sport

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Check out the WBO middleweight champion Savannah Marshall's best knockouts

The appliance of power could decide the winner of Savannah Marshall's momentous undisputed middleweight title clash with Claressa Shields, live on Sky Sports on September 10, according to Peter Fury.

Shields is a highly-decorated fighter, amateur and pro, going into the contest with WBO champion Marshall holding the WBC, WBA and IBF belts, the other three major middleweight titles.

But Britain's Marshall is seen as the puncher of the two. Marshall has won 10 of her 12 professional fights inside the distance, while Shields has halted just two of her 12 opponents, albeit boxing at a consistently high level.

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Claressa Shields rates Savannah Marshall 'seven or eight out of 10' ahead of their undisputed middleweight championship fight

Marshall's trainer, Peter Fury maintains that Marshall hits with unrivalled force.

Speaking on Behind the Ropes, broadcast on Friday on Sky Sports Arena and Main Event at 10.30pm, Fury declared: "She's got devastating power in both hands. By far the hardest female puncher in history, going back and forward.

"I've got somebody who's six foot, who can make various weights with ease, which is a gift in itself, who's as bodily strong as some men, with weights, cardio. She's a gifted athlete. The best of Savannah will be too much for anybody."

Shields herself appeared entirely undaunted. If Marshall clips her with her best shot? "Scooby snacks," the American said. "I'm going to eat them. I'm going to use my IQ. I'm going to hurt her and pinpoint my shots and counter and be first. That's what's going to happen.

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"It's going to be a great fight and everybody's going to see that just because she's a big puncher, whatever they want to call it, doesn't mean that she can knock out Claressa Shields."

The unified champion revealed she is in fact training to win by knockout herself. "I know I can beat girls resoundingly, 10 rounds I can outpoint them and beat them. But to take that next step in my career, of course, you have to add the knockouts," she said.

"So we've been in sparring working on being in a knockout mindset, having a boxing mindset but just being better than yesterday every day. So I think that I can get knockouts at this level and that's what we're going to work on because I know that I can beat Savannah Marshall over 10 rounds, that's not a problem. Just make a statement."

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Savannah Marshall and Claressa Shields reignited their heated rivalry in The Gloves Are Off, which is being shown on Sky Sports at 7.30pm on Sunday

Shields throughout the build-up to this fight has given no hint of self-doubt. "I work extremely hard, that's where the confidence comes from. I don't just say things that I say because I feel like saying them. It's a monster deep down inside of me that's speaking out," she said.

Peter Fury, though, will play a crucial role in instilling similar self-belief in Marshall. That too will come from all the work in the gym.

"I feel safe with Peter because I know there's no hidden agenda. He does it because of the love of the sport," Marshall said.

A reassuring presence he may be in the corner, but he's no less hard on her in training. "I said to Savannah in this camp, it's going to be harder now than it's ever been. I said it's going to be brutal to be honest, and I'm going to treat you brutal as well," Fury said.

"So you need to understand when it's like this, there's no room for messing around, get it done, [if] it's wrong, do it right. That's what it is. That's just the way this camp is. Once you know that, you know what you're dealing with.

Savannah Marshall
Image: Peter Fury's role could be crucial in the Claressa Shields fight

"When you fight to unify belts, it's a serious matter. If there's 100 per cent, I don't want 99.8, I want 100," he continued. "All I tell my fighters and all I say to Savannah, 'you're in for hell and high water'.

"'This is the hardest fight of your career, train like it'. So she's prepared for absolute Armageddon."

Marshall added: "It's been painful and I think because I actually do love training that's what's got me through it."

Fury is satisfied with what they have done. "There's one thing for sure, when she [Shields] is looking at Savannah in that ring, she'll realise that all that talk and all that sayings doesn't mean nothing. Because she's steely confident and [Shields] will see that when the bell goes," the trainer said.

"It's my job to give her that confidence but a reality in confidence. I'm not interested in giving anybody some pep talk or hyping things up what's not real."

Marshall has come a long way to reach a contest against Shields that promises to be spectacular.

Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall
Image: Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall will be broadcast live on Sky Sports on September 10

"I've waited so long to be headlining. I've waited so long to be in a big fight like this. This fight could change my life, so it's all there for me," Marshall said.

"There were plenty of times when the door was shut in my face. I joke and say, especially when I first started boxing, I just wasn't getting the memo because people were constantly telling me they didn't want me there. The lads didn't want me in the gym, the coaches didn't want me there. We used to go sparring, other coaches wouldn't let me in the gym because I was a female. But I just didn't get it. The love of boxing always took over."

Fighters like Marshall have changed perceptions of women's boxing, even the preconceptions of her own trainer.

"It is what it is," Fury said of women's boxing. "It's flying. It wasn't like that even two years ago. So the pace is growing, it's unbelievable. There's real excitement now for women's fights.

"It's not just a man's sport, this and that. We've been proved wrong. Because I was one of them as well. I thought this is too brutal for women. I've got daughters I could never have envisaged them being punched in the face. So myself included, I've been proved wrong."

Watch Behind the Ropes on Friday at 10.30pm on Sky Sports Arena or Sky Sports Main Event.

The most anticipated fight in the history of women's boxing - Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall - is live on Sky Sports on Saturday September 10. Be part of history and buy tickets for the London showdown here.

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