One of the domestic boxing scene’s brightest young stars, British, Commonwealth and WBO International Middleweight Champion, Billy Joe Saunders, is the latest ‘name’ to voice his support for TRAD TKO Gym mate Marianne ‘Golden Girl’ Marston, ahead of her challenge for the WBU European Super Bantamweight title, at York Hall in London on March 1st.
Earlier this week Billy Joe, who is widely rumoured to be facing Italy’s Emanuele Blandamura for the vacant European crown in April, pleasantly surprised TRAD TKO head honcho Johnny Eames, by making a point of pulling him aside and praising Marianne.
Discovered and mentored by late, great Heavyweight Champ Smokin’ Joe Frazier in 2007, Marianne’s steely determination to succeed in the sport has clearly impressed some of the biggest names in the sport, on both sides of the Atlantic.
Besides Billy Joe, amongst those ‘names’ that have publicly vocalized their support for Marianne in the past include former World Champions, such as the aforementioned Joe Frazier, two time Cruiserweight Champ Steve ‘USS’ Cunningham, Light Middleweight Champion Robert ‘Bam Bam’ Hines etc as well as a veritable host of domestic Champions, such as British Light Welterweight Champion Darren Hamilton, British Cruiserweight Champion Leon ‘Solid’ Williams and her current sparring partner, British and European Bantamweight Champion Ian ‘Dappa’ Napa, to name just a very few.
What makes this level of longtime support, from such esteemed star boxers, even more remarkable is that it was only in April 2013 that Marianne finally got to live her dream and box professionally, after suffering several well publicized setbacks to her career over the preceding years.
Since then she has gone on to fight and win twice, both by first round TKO, which not only earned her the prized accolade of being ranked the #1 Pound For Pound Female British boxer, by the leading boxing stats site BoxRec.com, but also led to her being invited to challenge for titles, by not one but two World Sanctioning organisations, on just her third pro outing.
Speaking earlier, Billy Joe may just have shed some light on why so many big names back her for Championship success, as he made it crystal clear that the respect and support Marianne receives is not just for her boxing ability, but another major factor being her total dedication in the gym.
“I’m really pleased Marianne is getting a shot at a title, she’s got the whole gym behind her, we all want her to win so try and help in anyway we can.
We want her to bring another belt back to the gym, we’re building quite a collection this season, besides mine you have, Frankie’s (WBO European Super Middleweight Champion Frankie Buglioni), Freddie’s (Southern Area Light Middleweight Champion Freddie Turner) and Joel’s (International Masters Light Heavyweight Champions Joel McIntyre), now Marianne, if anyone deserves it she does.
She’s probably one of the hardest trainers in the gym, she puts a lot of work in and doesn’t make excuses, she just cracks on with it, she works her heart out and that’s the key thing in the game, when you work that hard you deserve to get something out of it.
She spars good fighters up here, Ian Napa, young Sam (Cantwell) and Joe (Stevens) amongst others, everyone here at the gym wants her to win and is doing their bit to make sure she has the best camp possible.
Yeah, It’s hard for her, there’s a bit of pressure on her as well really, but she copes well with it, she comes in and gets on with her training, you know sometimes I walk into the gym and see her flat out, after I’ve finished and had a shower, she’s still training flat out and I think, well she’s got more energy and stamina than what I have.
There’s no doubt she deserves this title shot, we’re all hoping she’ll win the belt and reap the rewards for the effort she puts in day in, day out at the gym, it’ll be real nice to see her win the title.”
Marianne Marston versus Galina Gumliiska for the vacant WBU European Super Bantamweight title co-headlines the Dave Murphy Acourtier Events WARZONE event, at York Hall in Bethnal Green, London on Saturday 1st March 2014.
Tickets, priced £35 (Standard Seated) and £60 (Ringside) for the Dave Murphy Acourtier Events WARZONE event are available direct from Marianne at the TRAD TKO Gym, in Canning Town or by calling the TKO Box Office ticket line on 07960 850645
Alternatively tickets are available on-line at www.tkoboxoffice.com or www.mariannemarston.com
Follow Marianne ‘ Golden Girl’ Marston, for updates and schedule go to: Web: www.mariannemarston.com – Twitter: @MarianneMarston and Facebook: www.facebook.com/marianne.marston