WBO middleweight champion Savannah Marshall (12-0, 10 KOs) once again showcased her vaunted punching power on Saturday in Newcastle, England.
Towards the end of round three, Marshall hurt Belgian challenger Femke Hermans (12-4, 5 KOs) with her lead left hand. With Hermans struggling to keep her balance, she was backed into a corner where Marshall would uncork a vicious left hook that had the crowd on its feet and knocked Hermans off her feet. There was no chance of her getting up within 10 seconds and the fight was called off.
Watch the video below:
It’s the first time that Hermans has ever been knocked out and it was a tremendous shot.
The bigger story here is that Marshall’s win has lined her up for a super showdown with WBA, WBC, and IBF champion Claressa Shields (12-0, 2 KOs), who’d bested Ema Kozin in the United Kingdom a couple of months ago. Marshall is the only woman to have beaten Shields in either amateur or professional boxing, having won on points in the 2012 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships.
Two of Marshall’s (T)KOs in the pros have come against opponents Shields went the distance with: Femke Hermans and Hannah Rankin. It’d be a much anticipated clash of styles between the power of Marshall and the superior speed and boxing skill of the two-time Olympic gold medalist Shields.
Boxxer promoter Ben Shalom says the plan is to hold this fight in the UK in June or July, and we could get a formal announcement in a matter of days.
Here’s what Shields, who attended Marshall vs. Hermans, had to say about Savannah’s power:
“I’m not Femke Hermans or any of the other girls she has fought,” Shields said (via ESPN). As much punch power as she got, if that’s all she’s got it’s going to be a wipeout. She’s going to have trouble with me and she’s definitely not going to knock me out. No, she’s not the biggest puncher. It’s not going to take a single punch to beat me.
“Femke made her miss and I’m 19 times faster than Femke so what do you think I’m going to do?”
No doubt that 2022 could be a banner year for women’s boxing if we do get both Katie Taylor vs. Amanda Serrano and Claressa Shields vs. Savannah Marshall in the same year.