(OCT 30) Reigning World
Middleweight (75kg) champion, Savannah Marshall, heads a five
strong team from England, just named for the forthcoming 8th
Edition of the AIBA Women’s Elite Championships at the Halla
Gymnasium, Jeju Nov 14/24th.
GB Boxing chooses the team that represents Great Britain in
Olympic competition but there is also an ‘England Boxing’ squad.
At non-Olympic events both GB Boxing and England Boxing are
allowed to nominate competitors and this is the case for Jeju.
In 2012 all three (female) GB boxers were from England but in
fact boxers from Scotland and Wales are also eligible to
represent Team GB in Olympic events but not those from Northern
Ireland, who represent Ireland.
GB Boxing has selected four women from the world class
performance programme to compete in the forthcoming AIBA Women’s
World Championships in Jeju Island, South Korea.
The squad includes reigning world champion, 23 years old.
Savannah Marshall, who defends the title she won in China in
Missing from the 2014 World’s will be two of GB’s three boxers
from the London 2012 Olympics namely Gold medallist, Nicola
Adams and lightweight contender Natasha Jonas from the Rotunda
Club in Liverpool, both of whom are recovering from major
In Jeju Savannah Marshall will have as team mates, flyweight
(51kg) Lisa Whiteside, lightweight (60kg), Chantelle Cameron and
Sandy Ryan from GB Boxing’s Podium Potential squad, who will
compete at light welterweight (64kg).
The GB Podium quartet will be joined by 2014 European
Championship silver medallist, Stacey Copeland, who has been
selected by England Boxing at welterweight (69kg).
All five English women have travelled together and will prepare
for the Worlds at a training camp in Japan along with the team
from Wales, namely lightweight, Charlene Jones, and Commonwealth
Games bronze medallist at middleweight, Lauren Price.
GB Boxing’s Performance Director, Rob McCracken, said: “The team
has a good blend of youth and experience and is looking to build
on the success that our women boxers have enjoyed in recent
“The world championship is always a very tough event and will be
a good test for all of the women as we build towards Rio in
Since it was established in April 2010, women from the GB Boxing
squad have won 11 medals at five major international
At the world championships in China in 2012, boxers from Great
Britain won four medals. Savannah Marshall won middleweight
gold, Nicola Adams took silver at flyweight and Natasha Jonas
and Lisa Whiteside secured bronze at lightweight and
featherweight (57kg) respectively.
Chantelle Cameron reached the quarter finals of the 2010 world
championship in Barbados, where Marshall and Adams won silver
Savannah Marshall was England’s
first ever Women’s World Boxing Champion and won the title on
her 21st birthday at the 2012 World Championships in
Quinhuangdao, China with a 17-15 victory over Elena Vystropova
of Azerbaijan. It was the second time Savannah had competed in a
World final after she lost 5-4 to Andrecia Wasson of the USA in
the 69kg final in Barbados in 2010.
In China, from an extremely tough draw, Savannah won six
contests and never looked troubled against a series of
opponents, including boxers ranked 2 and 3 in the world. She
went on to compete at the London 2012 Olympic Games but was
hampered by injury and lost in her first contest.
A shy and quiet individual, Savannah likes to let her sport do
the talking and has been affectionately christened the ‘Silent
Assassin’ by some of the British boxing press. Born in
Hartlepool, she attended English Martyrs School where she
secured 12 GCSEs. She also has a BTEC National Diploma in Sport
from Hartlepool FE College which she passed with a distinction.
Before leaving her home town en route to the Japanese training
camp, the 23 years old Hartlepool Headland ABC boxer told
Newcastle’s “Chronicle Live” reporter Steve Rayner:
““It’s been two years since I last became world champion and a
lot of boxers have improved in that time,” she reflects. “People
change, people get better.
“I know fine well it’s not going to be the same experience going
there as the champion as opposed to last time, when I was making
“A lot of people will be aiming for me thinking I’m the one to
beat. I’m not going to go in there cocky or over-confident but I
know if I do what I can, I can win.
Who does she see as her main threat?
“At middleweight anyone’s a threat. It’s the hardest weight
category because what woman who fights at 69–75kg isn’t strong?
“The women’s sport’s really moved on. There are ten times more
female boxers than when I first started.”
Recalling the 2012 tournament in China, Savannah had this to say
to “Chronicle Live”:
“Winning the World Championships in 2012 was the most pleasing
moment of my career,” she says.
“I didn’t get the result I wanted at the Olympics later that
summer, but I will always be Britain’s first women’s world
boxing champion. A lot of other things sprang from that.
“It was because of that I became a Sky Sports scholar, and that
was a really big thing for me. As well as providing me with a
mentor (head of boxing Adam Smith) they support me financially,
which is great because it allows me to train full-time instead
of having to juggle it around a job.
“I’ve also benefited a lot from the psychological support I’ve
had. I’ve worked a lot on coping with the pressure and fighting
in front of large crowds.”
“I was coming back from injury at the Commonwealth Games so my
major focus just getting back in the ring,” she says. “It did
wonders for me to win the gold medal and fighting in front of
all the home fans in Glasgow was great.
“But apart from the Olympics, the World Championships is the
No.1 competition for us and it’s in the back of my mind that I’m
going there to win. I know if I box as I can, I can do that.”
Back in July, I saw Marshall take the Commonwealth Gold in
Glasgow, having overcome the challenge of three of her likely
opponents in Jeju – India’s Pooja Rani (3:0), Nigeria Edith
Ogoke (3:0) and in the final Canada’s Ariane Fortin (2:1).
She has been in training with the GB squad in Sheffield since
the Commonwealth’s and though as always much will depend with
the draw in , those three boxers are again likely to be ‘in the
mix’ for medals in Jeju.
With Adams out, Savannah Marshall will be England’s main hope
for Gold in South Korea.