Savannah Marshall scores one-punch knockout of Hermans to retain title

Savannah Marshall scored the most destructive knockout of her career as she wiped out Femke Hermans in the third round in Newcastle to retain her WBO middleweight title to set up her long-awaited showdown with Claressa Shields.

“There is no one else between me and Clarissa so it is me and Clarissa in the summer now,” Marshall said.

“I know Claressa can’t handle my power. I know when I face Clarissa it will be a good night. I believe I severely hurt Claressa.”

The bout will likely take place in the UK, but Marshall wants the grudge match to take place in her Newcastle hometown.

“It’s got to happen here in the North-East,” she added.

Marshall (12-0, 10 KOs), 30, took a conservative approach in the opening round. But the champion went after the Belgian in the second round behind her jab, but her opponent proved to be versatile as she looked for a place to land counter shots.

But in the waning seconds of the third round, Marshall clipped Femke with a series of blows that sent Hermans reeling into the ropes, which she followed up with a right hand. Albeit she missed with the next right hand, Marshall dropped Femke flat on her back with a scintillating left hook that put her out, and referee Howard Foster immediately waved off the action.

“Femke is a brilliant fighter, she’s a former world champion and she is awkward, she tried to catch me coming in. I didn’t think she would go out like that," Marshall stated. “I never, ever go looking for a knockout.”

Shields (12-0, 2 KOs), who holds the WBC, WBA and IBF middleweight titles, was not impressed with the win, although her KO numbers pales in comparison to Marshall.

“That is what you are supposed to do, I said she would do that with Femke,” Shields said of her rival “I’m not Femke Hermans, I’m not Hannah Rankin, I’m not any of those girls she fought against. As much punch power as she has got, if that’s what I have got to look forward to, it’s going to be a wipe-out. I went the distance with Femke but that was four years ago, early in my career. I’m not Femke. She is going to have trouble with me and she is definitely not going to knock me out.

“You have to have power, you have to have skill, you have to have all of that to beat me. It's not going to take her just one big punch to deal with me inside the ring. It will take a lot. Femke was able to make her miss and I am ten times faster than Femke, so what do you think I am going to do.”

Share this story

must see