Defeat can improve a fighter. Savannah Marshall will have learned from her loss to undisputed champion Claressa Shields and will be back, better for a potential rematch, says her promoter Ben Shalom.
Marshall lost a unanimous decision in her middleweight with Shields on October 15. But their epic showdown was an event that took place on an unprecedented scale. It was the first women’s bout to headline at London’s O2 Arena and drew in over two million viewers on Sky Sports.
BOXXER’s Ben Shalom promoted the show. He believes Marshall will be a better boxer for the experience.
“It’s not something you can teach, that environment. Even for Lauren (Price) and Karriss (Artingstall) and Caroline (Dubois) [on the undercard] to get a taste of what women’s boxing can be at that stage, that’s invaluable experience. It’s a daunting thing. To be fair, I think Savannah took it all in her stride. So did Claressa. They’re just incredible. Given that they’d not been in that environment before, none of them, that was a first,” he told Sky Sports.
“Savannah knows what to expect next time. She’s been through two fight weeks, she’s fought, she’s headlined, she’s now headlined at the O2. So we feel she now understands everything that can be thrown at her and she’ll feel very confident going into her next fight.”
Shalom believes Marshall will be better equipped to challenge Shields in a rematch and that should take place in the near-term.
“Savannah’s profile [after fighting Shields] has almost tripled or quadrupled. It’s incredible. She’s devastated with what happened. She feels she didn’t perform the way she could,” he said.
“For me it’s good to see because she’s achieved a lot in the last 12 months and sometimes what you want to see is someone upset in defeat. Especially against Claressa Shields for her to be sat there thinking she could have done so much more is a good thing. It shows she’s a winner and shows her confidence in her ability in that she can perform against Claressa.
“She’s a winner. Despite her profile, despite the money she’s made which was almost unthinkable 18 months ago, she’s devastated because she believes she could have done a lot better. She recognises Claressa came in and we saw a truly great performance. Savannah, she feels perhaps that wasn’t the best account of herself. Things didn’t flow.”
For Shalom a rematch remains one of the most compelling bouts to be made in the women’s sport and could happen in one or two fights’ time.
“Claressa performed unbelievably, her gameplan was perfect and she was the better woman on the night and she was incredible. But Savannah knows she has a lot more to give and perhaps now that she’s been in there she probably feels that she knows exactly what she’s going to face,” he explained.
“They’re far and away the two most talented fighters both at middleweight and super-middleweight and even super-welterweight. I’m sure they will meet again. I think they’re going to meet again quite soon. Claressa loves fighting over here. We’d like to see her back over here. We have fighters in our roster that would love to fight Claressa Shields.”
Marshall could rebuild by moving up a weight class to take on Franchon Crews Dezurn, the undisputed champion at super-middleweight.
“Immediately I think the rematch will be an obvious fight but it’s whether Claressa and Savannah could both have a fight [first]. Savannah could even fight Crews in a unification at 168lbs, which is a fight that I know Crews wants,” Shalom said.
“Christina Hammer I know is another very, very good fighter and gave Claressa her toughest test other than Savannah, is another massive fight for Savannah. Savannah wants to get that chance again. She wants to prove herself.
“So Christina Hammer, Crews the unification or the Claressa rematch will come next. Claressa will definitely be in one of her next two fights, if not next.”