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Savannah Marshall's MMA debut confirmed with boxing star and Claressa Shields on PFL collision course

World boxing champion Savannah Marshall is set to make her MMA debut this summer.


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The former WBO middleweight champion and reigning undisputed super-middleweight champion signed a deal with the Professional Fighters League (PFL) last year, and will finally make her debut inside the steel cage in June.

The 32-year-old will be fighting in the women's lightweight division with her maiden bout scheduled to take place on the PFL Europe event in Newcastle-upon-Tyne on June 8, where victory could edge her towards a mammoth MMA showdown with boxing foe Claressa Shields.

The pair famously locked-horns at the top of the historic all-female card at London's O2 Arena in October 2022, where Shields prevailed by decision to fully unify titles in the 160lbs division, and avenge her one and only boxing defeat to Marshall in the amateur ranks.

However, with the American having also signed a promotional deal with the PFL, the door has been seemingly cracked ajar for the pair to collide for a second time - only this time under MMA rules.

Marshall's forthcoming switch isn't expected to bring an end to her boxing career however, with the Hartlepool native intending to combine both sports over the next 12 months.

Speaking recently, BOXXER founder and CEO Ben Shalom revealed his hopes of seeing Marshall and Shields reacquainting themselves inside a boxing ring later this year, irrespective of whether the two are on a PFL collision course.

"We're desperate to make that second Claressa Shields fight, myself and Dmitry Salita (Shields' boxing promoter) still talk," Shalom told Sky Sports.

"I think it's the fight that Savannah and Claressa both want, and if it is to happen, I think it has to be at 168lbs over three-minute rounds.

Savannah Marshall

"I think the first fight, although it was a great fight, you have to say Claressa did win it and I think Savannah feels like the longer the rounds go on the more likely she is to knock her out and catch her.

"It's a fight we definitely will see, hopefully at the back end of the year, maybe early next year. Hopefully though it is at the back end of this year after her MMA fight."

Marshall responded to her only professional defeat at the hands of Shields by dethroning former undisputed super-middleweight champion, and training partner of the self-proclaimed 'GWOAT', Franchon Crews-Dezurn in July last year.

And whilst she feels she has plenty of unfinished business in boxing, the 32-year-old is excited to turn her hand to a fresh and exciting opportunity in MMA.

"It's exciting, it's new, it's something that I'm really interested in," she told Sky Sports.

"Sometimes in training, I feel good and I think yeah I'm getting it now and other times I'm getting tapped like that and I think: 'I am terrible at this.' It's exciting for me because it's new.

"It's BJJ, you've got kickboxing, you've got judo, wrestling so it's a mix of all these different sports that I've never ever tried, so it's something I am really excited to try."

The 2024 PFL Europe Season began in Paris last month, before rolling into Newcastle Upon-Tyne at Utilita Arena on June 8, and moving into new territory in Glasgow for a huge night of playoff action at OVO Hydro on September 28.

The season will conclude with a Championship event at a venue to be announced by the PFL in the near future.


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