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Savannah Marshall set for MMA debut, eyes rematch with Shields

Savannah Marshall and Claressa Shields are fierce rivals in both boxing and MMA.

In the world of combat sports, few rivalries are as intense and captivating as that between Savannah Marshall and Claressa Shields. These two fierce competitors first clashed as amateurs and went on to have an unforgettable undisputed world title fight as professional boxers. While Shields emerged victorious through a unanimous decision, Marshall has been vocal about her desire for a rematch with the American boxing sensation.

However, their rivalry doesn't stop at boxing. Both Marshall and Shields have recently made a surprising move by signing with the MMA promotion Professional Fighters League (PFL). While they will continue their respective boxing careers, the journey into the world of mixed martial arts adds an intriguing twist to their rivalry.

Marshall is leaving no stone unturned in her pursuit of Shields. She plans to attend Shields' upcoming MMA bout in PFL, ensuring she has a front-row seat to observe her rival's performance. 'I'm going to be there cageside, having a look, sizing her up,' Marshall revealed in an interview with Sky Sports.

The British boxer-turned-MMA fighter is well aware of the reason behind her signing with PFL. 'I'm under no illusions why they've signed me. They haven't looked at me and thought she'll be a brilliant MMA fighter,' Marshall admitted. 'They've signed me because there's potential for me to fight Claressa in the smartcage, isn't there? That's why they've signed me.'

Marshall's willingness to embrace a new sport shows her determination to get another shot at defeating Shields. 'I come up short in boxing, so I want another stab, so why not in a new sport altogether?' Marshall remarked.

Transitioning to MMA might offer Marshall a different dynamic against Shields. She believes their attributes could be showcased differently in an MMA contest. 'I really do. I'm interested to see how much she's come on,' Marshall expressed. 'I really want to see how she's improved if she has. For anyone to switch sports takes a lot of guts, especially from what she's achieved in her boxing career.'

Marshall's power and hard-hitting capabilities could be even more effective in the MMA arena. With smaller gloves and the potential for more damage to be inflicted, she sees an advantage in her punching prowess. 'Well, I've got to land first, which is something that I didn't do in boxing,' Marshall mused. 'But little four-ounce gloves, they're practically half the size. So definitely, a lot more damage to be inflicted.'

Training diligently at an MMA gym, Marshall is fully committed to her new venture. She expects to make her MMA debut with PFL in the summer and only return to the boxing ring later in the year. 'It's looking like the back end of the year now [for her next boxing bout], just as long as I get out before the end of the year, I'll be happy,' she revealed.

While she is still new to the world of MMA, Marshall is thoroughly enjoying the experience. Becoming accustomed to various disciplines such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, kickboxing, judo, and wrestling, she is embracing the challenge. 'It's a mix of all these different sports that I've never ever tried,' Marshall explained. 'Even getting taken down in sparring hasn't fazed me because it's exciting, it's new, it's something that I'm really interested in.'

As the pursuit of Claressa Shields continues, Savannah Marshall's foray into MMA adds an intriguing dimension to their rivalry. Both fighters will undoubtedly bring their unique skills to the smartcage, and fans eagerly await their next clash, whether it be in the boxing ring or the MMA arena.

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