"I'd love to do it all over again!"; Savannah Marshall is determined to rematch Claressa Shields sooner rather than later and is confident the result would be different next time around
Monday 7 November 2022 12:23, UK
Savannah Marshall is desperate to get back in the ring with Claressa Shields as she bids to avenge the only loss in her professional career to date.
Hartlepool's Marshall and American Shields participated in perhaps the greatest women's boxing bout ever in October, with Shields emerging victorious at the O2 Arena in London to claim all the major belts at middleweight.
Despite tasting defeat for the first time, Marshall gave the two-time Olympic champion her toughest test so far and she is optimistic about triumphing should the two meet again in the future.
"That was a close fight. Many of those rounds could have gone either way. I know she knows that was close," Marshall told Sky Sports News.
"The reception we got, the viewing figures were unbelievable, and there's many people saying they want to watch it again. I'd love to do it all over again.
"There isn't that many girls out there. We've both got other options but inevitably our paths will cross again because we are the only two elite at middleweight.
"There are quite a few changes that I could make. There were things that maybe I shouldn't have done for as long as I did. She'd probably say the same.
"We've both shared the ring now as pros. I got the best Claressa Shields there is, there's ever going to be, she didn't hurt me. I know there's no way she can hurt me."
On whether their first contest was the best women's fight ever, Marshall claimed: "I think it is, but I was a part of it so I'm always going to say that! I'm sure some of the other girls would disagree."
Having knocked out 10 opponents in her 12 wins, some believe Marshall's prospects might be improved should there be three-minute rounds rather than the traditional two minutes used in women's boxing, with her devastating power having more chance to come to the fore.
However, the 31-year-old does not believe things should necessarily be changed, arguing: "Two minutes is fan friendly. When you've got two minutes, it's non-stop.
"I think two-minute rounds has helped the sport. For women to go from 10 twos to 12 threes is a big jump."
Women's boxing reached new heights in 2022, with more than two-million viewers tuning into the historic all-female card headlined by Shields and Marshall, making it the biggest audience for a live women's sport event ever on Sky.
Two-time Olympian Marshall has been delighted with the increased exposure of women's boxing in recent times, stating: "Watching it back, seeing photos of The O2 filled is unbelievable. To see that women are filling out the O2 Arena is brilliant.
"Women's sport has gone through the roof. People are turning up and buying tickets. People are watching on TV. Back in the day, female boxing was massive in America, but now I think it's taken over in the UK."
On whether a rematch with Shields could now fill a stadium in the UK, she added: "Ben Shalom was talking about St James' Park in the summer. For me it doesn't get much bigger than that."
Shields has once again reiterated her belief that she is the greatest women's fighter of all-time - the GWOAT - following her impressive victory over Marshall.
Having avenged the only defeat of her amateur or professional boxing career with that win, the 27-year-old has become an undisputed champion in three weight classes in just 13 bouts thanks to an unblemished record in the paid ranks.
Those achievements are enough for Marshall to give credit to her great rival.
"Claressa is a brilliant fighter. Her accolades speak for themselves and she's very smart. There were a couple of times I had her hurt. It's all about that one shot and I couldn't land it," she said.
"You've got to give her credit. Give credit where credit is due. She's got all the accolades, all the belts, she's unbeaten. She can definitely call herself that [the GWOAT]."