Savannah Marshall eyes Claressa Shields after easy win, Kash Farooq UD

Savannah Marshall

Dave Thompson

Savannah Marshall became the first woman to stop Maria Lindberg in 29 fights as she retained her WBO Middleweight World Title with a third-round KO.

The defending champion was far too powerful for her Swedish challenger, who was a late replacement for Femke Hermans.

A mighty right hand dumped Lindberg heavily to the canvas in the second round, with the bell preventing Marshall from finishing the fight.

It was a brief reprieve as Marshall’s stinging right toppled Lindberg again, and she wisely stayed down for the count in the third.

“To be honest, I didn’t think it would pan out like that,” said Marshall. “Maria is one tough woman. She keeps herself in shape all year round. She’d never been stopped in 27-fights. I thought I was in for a bit of a tough night’s work.

“Once I started finding my range with the jab, then the backhand just found its way home, and I don’t think she could handle the power. She just said there she’s never been dropped in 23 years! I’m pretty proud of that.

“On Sunday, I didn’t even think I was going to fight, and then they brought Maria in. It rocked the boat a bit. A quick change of tactics, and we got the job done. She’s been in with some good girls, Christina Hammer. She’s boxed for numerous World Titles. She wanted mine, but she’s not getting it. I’m genuinely grateful to Maria for stepping up. Big thanks to her.

“I’ve heard whispers we’re going back to Newcastle in July, hopefully with crowds. I’d love to box for the IBF Title, which is vacant. I feel good at this weight and I’m a big Middleweight.

“Claressa Shields is the only fight at the bigger weights.

“It has to happen, really. There’s nowhere else for her to go. She needs me just as much as I need her.”

Kash Farooq
Dave Thompson

KASH FAROOQ

Glasgow talent Kash Farooq completed a stylish points victory over Nicaragua’s Alexander Espinoza to secure the WBC International Silver Bantamweight Title.

‘The Untouchable’ displayed his superior ring skills against the tough 28-year-old, receiving a unanimous decision with scores of 97-93, 97-95, and 97-94.

“I’m over the moon with the performance,” Farooq told Sky Sports. “I knew it was going to be a tough fight. I came as an underdog. He was the champion. He took some big shots, and he kept coming and coming.

“When you’re a champion, you don’t want to give your belt up. He just wanted to win. That’s why he came here. I wasn’t going to be denied. It’s a lot of hard work in the gym. Practice, practice, and practice. It’s second nature because I’ve been working on this for such a long time. I can see the punches coming.”

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