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Savannah Marshall destroys Femke Hermans to set up Claressa Shields showdown

Savannah Marshall
LAWRENCE LUSTIG
Savannah Marshall demolishes Femke Hermans in Newcastle. American rival Claressa Shields will be next, Roy Kelly writes from ringside

WITH a stunning finish Savannah Marshall destroyed Femke Hermans in three rounds to pave the way for a world middleweight title spectacular with Claressa Shields.

Unbeaten American superstar, owner of the WBC, WBA and IBF straps, Shields was ringside in Newcastle to witness Marshall’s power deployed in the third defence of her WBO belt in brutal fashion.

Former WBO super-middleweight belt-holder, Hermans, who had never previously been stopped, had competed strongly in the opening three sessions, but Marshall got through right at the end of the round. The unbeaten Hartlepool fighter was off-target with her intended right but did not miss with a left hook which floored the Belgian heavily in the neutral corner, with referee Howard Foster waving it off immediately bang on two minutes.    

Elsewhere, Florian Marku also clinched the best win of his career with a fourth-round stoppage of Chris Jenkins. The ‘Albanian King’ rocked the Welshman with a booming right midway through the fourth session. Somehow the ex-British and Commonwealth champ stayed on his feet but when he retreated and Marku landed two more shots, referee Steve Gary waved it off at 1-41. 

Brad Rea, one of the stars of BOXXER’s previous visit to Tyneside put Lukas Ndafoluma down in the fourth round with a left hook en-route to an eight-round points success. The Namibian stayed competitive to the end but the unbeaten Stretford prospect got the verdict 78-73.  

Zak Chelli marked his return to the ring with a sixth-round stoppage of late sub Jack Kilgannon. The Londoner, who had been scheduled to face Diego Costa, chucked plenty of leather and had a liking for an overhand right. And it was that right which finally made it’s mark, downing the previously-unbeaten Oldham super-middle in the red corner at the end of the sixth. Referee Darren Maxwell did not even begin a count and it was all over at 2-59.

The show also featured the unveiling by BOXXER of new signings, Olympic gold medallist Lauren Price and Karriss Artingstall, who won bronze in Tokyo. They both spoke to Boxing News here.

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