Savannah Marshall was originally meant to defend her WBO middleweight title Saturday against Femke Hermans, but Maria Lindberg was secured as a very late replacement just two days out from fight night, and Marshall feels she may have a better fight now than she did before.
“If anything, this is a tougher fight than the original fight we had,” said Marshall. “Maria is very experienced, tough and been in with some of the best in the world; Christina Hammer twice. I’m expecting a tough fight come Saturday.”
Marshall (9-0, 7 KO) won the vacant 160-lb title last October, stopping Hannah Rankin in the seventh round. Her biggest possible fight is, of course, against Claressa Shields, should Shields move back up to 160 for a good money offer, if there’s a good money offer to make.
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Lindberg (19-6-2, 10 KO) was well under the middleweight limit on Friday, coming in at 154¾ lbs on the scales, with Marshall at 159¼. Marshall is noticeably bigger than Lindberg, who will be giving up about five-and-a-half inches of height in the bout, but the champ rightly isn’t taking the fight lightly, and is just happy to still have a fight this weekend.
“Whatever Maria brings I’m more than confident I’ve got the answer for,” she said. “I found out about Femke Hermans being off on Saturday and I thought there was no way they’d get me a replacement opponent at such short notice.
“Luckily Matchroom pulled it out of the bag and got me an opponent. She’s had three times as many fights as me so I’m sure she knows all of the little tricks of the trade. She’ll probably never get a chance like this again so really it’s the last roll of the dice for her. She’s definitely going to come all guns blazing.”