It was officially announced earlier today that instead of challenging Galina Gumliiska, for the World Boxing Union European Super Bantamweight title this coming Saturday, at York Hall in Bethnal Green, TRAD TKO Gym’s Marianne Marston will instead be challenging Czech Republic’s Hana Horakova, for the Featherweight version of the WBU European strap.
This forced change apparently came about after Galina Gumliiska failed to receive medical clearance from Professional Boxing League Of Bulgaria.
After frantic calls, by Dave Murphy, Marianne’s promoter, to try and secure a Championship eligible Super Bantamweight for his charge, an agreement was reached with Hana Horakova’s management.
However this was done on the proviso that the bout be made at Featherweight as Hana would struggle to get much below 57kg in time, the required Championship weight limit for Super Bantamweight being 55.34kg.
This caused concerns for Marianne’s coach, Brian O’Shaughnessy, as Marianne had been comfortably below the maximum Super Bantamweight Championship weight limit for over a week.
After discussions between coach, manager and of course Marianne, it was decided that if they could get the Featherweight title authorized they’ll go for it, so started another round of frantic phone calls, this time back and forth between London and WBU headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
At around ten o’clock last night the authorization was secured and an announcement made by World Boxing Union President Don Lewis.
On receiving the news, a relieved Marianne said, “I can’t thank Don Lewis enough for this opportunity in the first place, but for him to make this last minute change is way beyond the call of duty.
It really is an honour, I’m excited to get the opportunity to fight for such a famous title, one of my all time heroes Ricky Hatton was a WBU Champion, so this really is something special for me.”
Even though her opponent is far more experienced, being a fourteen fight veteran, as well as challenged for the WBF Intercontinental Lightweight title as recently as October last year, Marianne believes that it is her that has the advantage.
Pointing to the exceptional sparring sessions with former British and European Champion Ian ‘Dappa’ Napa, two time ABA, five time National Champion Sunny Edwards and TRAD TKO gym mates Sam Cantwell and Joe Stevens, undertaken over the past weeks.
“We’ve watched her videos already, especially the title fight against Natalia (Smirnova).
Brian’s noticed certain things that we can capitalize on, it goes to show it really is worth studying your opponent at any opportunity.
If he believes I can cope with her, I can cope with her, he wouldn’t put me in with someone that I didn’t stand a chance of beating, he and Dave (Murphy) haven’t steered me wrong yet.
I will be the WBU European Champion, I’ve waited longer and worked harder than I would have ever thought possible and I’m not letting this go, but it’s not just about winning it, it’s about winning it in style, I have got to box well, boxing fantastically really, it means everything to me to become the World Boxing Union European Champion.”
Marianne Marston versus Hana Horakova, for the World Boxing Union European Featherweight title, co-headlines the Dave Murphy Acourtier Events WARZONE Event, which takes place at York Hall in Bethnal Green in London on Saturday, 1st March 2014.
Tickets, priced £35 (Standard Seated) & £60 (Ringside) are available from the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym in Canning Town, or call the TRAD TKO ticket line on 07960 850645.