WBO female middleweight champion Savannah Marshall (12-0, 10 KOs) cleared the path for a unification fight against IBF/WBA/WBC champion Claressa Shields with a third-round knockout of Belgian fighter Femke Hermans (12-4, 5 KOs) on Saturday night in a scheduled 10 round fight at the Newcastle Arena, in Newcastle, England.
(Photo credit: Lawrence Lustig / BOXXER)
Marshall took her time in the first two rounds, landing shots, and keeping Hermans at bay with her jab. In the third round, Marshall landed a perfectly placed left hook to the head of the 32-year-old Hermans that flattened her.
The referee Howard Foster waved the fight off immediately at 2:59 of the round.
“It was one of those shots that you don’t even think about,” said Savannah Marshall to iFL TV on the left hook that she stopped Femke Hermans with in the third round.
“Femke, in the first 20 seconds, I thought, ‘She’s going to try and catch me coming in and try and pickpocket me. She was a tough woman, I felt she was strong, but I caught her with a jab. I seen it in her face and thought, ‘I got you.’
“I seen it in the video that she’d slipped the backhand and got caught with the hook. I knew she was awkward, she was quite slippery. In the second round, I started to slip in with the jab. I caught her. She’s got some of my moves, she has.
“Yeah, Femke has never been stopped and she’s been in with some good girls.
“There’s no one else in the way between me and Claressa, so it’s me and her in the summer now,” said Marshall. “I know Claressa can’t handle my power. I believe I can beat her. It’s got to happen here in the Northeast.”
In the co-feature bout, welterweight contender Florian Marku (11-0-1, 7 KOs) beat Chris Jenkins (23-5-3, 8 KOs) by a fourth round knockout.
Marku hurt Jenkins with a right hand, and then unloaded on him until the referee stopped the bout. The time was at 1:41 of the fourth. Jenkins was never going to recover after getting stunned by a right hand from Marku. That shot wobbled Jenkins’ legs, and he was a goner at that point.
After the fight, Marku called out former light-welterweight champion Amir Khan, saying he wanted to fight him in Albania and send him into retirement.
However, Marku added that he didn’t think Khan, 35, would accept a fight against him, and he’s probably right. Khan is pushing for an immediate rematch with Kell Brook.
If Khan is forced to take a tune-up fight first, it’s likely he’ll face someone with less pop in their punches than Marku. What Marku needs is a solid contender like David Avanesyan if he wants to try and make a name for himself.
With that said, Avanesyan would likely make easy work of Marku because he’s easy to hit and unskilled.