Savannah Marshall: "I'm lucky I don't suffer that bad with hormones"

Periods, sexism and her chance to become world champion, Savannah Marshall reveals all ahead of Hannah Ranking bout.

Savannah Marshall is ready to become the latest English female world champion this weekend as she takes on Scottish fighter Hannah Rankin.

The Peter Fury-trained star is challenging for her first professional world title with the vacant WBO middleweight title on offer.

Should she come through the bout, Marshall will follow Terri Harper and Chantelle Cameron in becoming the latest female champion from England.

Harper recently retained her WBC junior lightweight title via split draw against Natasha Jonas while Cameron outpointed Adriana Araujo to pick up the WBC junior welterweight belt.

Women's boxing is thriving right now with Pound for Pound trio Katie TaylorAmanda Serrano and Claressa Shields flying the flag high.

Marshall is familiar with the name mentioned.

The 29-year-old defeated Shields in 2012 to win the World Amateur Championships in Qinhuangdao. And now, Marshall is ready to join the UK's exclusive club.

"Hannah's a tough cookie, with plenty of heart. I'm a better boxer and, because of that, I believe Hannah is going to try and out-work me. She's also fought at world level four or five times, while this is my first proper step up," she told the Guardian.

"They're 10 times as many male boxers as females," Marshall says. "Only me and Hannah Rankin are at this level at my weight in Britain. You've got to go abroad to get some female fights and so an all-British title fight between me and Hannah would probably have never happened without Covid," Marshall added.

Despite the rising popularity of women's boxing, the fighters are continuing to battle for the right to have three minute rounds, like the men.

Only from 1996 did the British Boxing Board of Control agree to stage boxing fights between women having previously expressed their concern about the physical and mental impact it would have on their menstrual cycle - something Jane Couch MBE got reversed at a tribunal.

"For them to have said that seems crazy. But even now I know of men that won't watch women boxing. I get it because who wants to see women get hurt - but you have to remember we are fighters.

"Plenty of times," Marshall replied when asked if she has fought whilst on her period. "It is hard but I know when I'm due on, the exact day. I know when I need to take paracetamol so I'm managing it. I'm lucky I don't suffer that bad with hormones or stomach cramps like some of my friends who are bed-bound. But it's tough."

Marshall and Rankin square off this Satuday and is on the undercard of Lewis Ritson's return to action against Miguel Vazquez. Coverage starts from 7pm on Sky Sports.

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