Savannah Marshall wins WBO Middleweight Title with sensational stoppage win over Hannah Rankin
Hartlepool’s Savannah Marshall claimed the WBO World Middleweight Title with a classy seventh round stoppage victory over Scotland’s Hannah Rankin at Wembley Arena.
The 29-year-old dominated from the opening bell, picking Rankin off through the use of her height and reach as her Olympic amateur pedigree showed.
Marshall’s trainer Peter Fury, who trained nephew Tyson Fury to his world heavyweight title victory over Wladimir Klitschko in 2015, had clearly instilled his elusive, hit and not get hit style of coaching into the north east fighter as she oozed a smooth punch selection throughout.
The 2012 world amateur champion evaded much of what Rankin attempted to throw as the Scot held the centre of the ring all night but with little success.
Marshall’s nerves under the spotlight had been questioned in the past as she failed to medal at an Olympic Games despite showing promise heading into both London and Rio.
But those doubts were quickly silenced as she dominated the middle rounds and began looking to stop Rankin, who has lost four times but never failed to see the final bell.
Marshall mixed up her attack brilliantly, swapping from body to head with effortless fluidity as her Scottish opponent struggled to keep pace with the speed and size that was coming back at her.
And in the seventh round the pressure finally told as an onslaught from Marshall eventually led to Rankin sinking to one knee, receiving a standing count from the referee before he correctly waved the fight off.
Marshall becomes the first person to stop Rankin in the professionals and eclipses her rival Claressa Shields, a two-time Olympic gold medallist and two-weight undisputed world champion who beat the Scot on points two years ago.
Shields and Marshall have traded words for many years since the latter beat the American in the amateurs, the only person to have defeated her.
Speaking about a potential super-fight after her world title triumph, Marshall told Sky Sports: "The only reason Claressa got those belts is because she got there before me.
"And she certainly doesn’t want anything to do with me."