Savannah Marshall set up a unification fight with Claressa Shields with a powerful destruction of Lolita Muzeya in Newcastle to retain her WBO title.
With Shields watching via zoom in America, Marshall walked through a Muzeya storm in the first round to stop the Zambian challenger in the second.
It was the first time Marshall has had the opportunity to defend her belt in front of a capacity crowd and the local hero grasped the chance to impress, collecting the ninth knockout of her career.
“Congrats! See you next year, girlie. Show you what a real fighter and real champion fights like,” Shields said after the result, with Boxxer chief Ben Shalom confirming both women would fight on the same card on 11 December before a potential unification bout in 2022.
“Claressa couldn’t last two minutes with me, never mind two rounds,” Marshall said in response.
Muzeya came out flying, peppering Marshall with left and right hands, setting a feverish pace. With her opponent’s foot firmly on the accelerator, Marshall was forced to respond in the pockets, slamming in some eye-catching uppercuts.
Marshall was not fazed by her aggression, chipping away with painful uppercuts and body shots.
Suddenly the fight was punched out of Muzeya as she began to move backwards mid-way through the second round and Marshall pounced. With Muzeya trapped against the ropes and Marshall unloading, the referee stepped in to stop the contest – much to the delight of the Newcastle crowd.
Shields holds every other belt in the middleweight division and the two big punchers are expected to go toe-to-toe in Spring of 2022 in the UK.
Eubank Jr eyes domestic dust-ups in December
Chris Eubank Jr outclassed Wanik Awidjan over five rounds in a routine victory for the former world title contender.
The British middleweight was clearly disappointed when Awidjan retired before the sixth round, gesturing to the crowd in frustration.
Eubank Jr was fighting for the first time since the tragic death of his brother Sebastian and will be eager to turn his attention to securing a world title fight in his next bout.
British rivals Liam Williams and Billy Joe Saunders were mentioned by Eubank Jr as potential opponents in December, while a world title clash against IBF champion Gennady Golovkin or WBO belt holder Demetrius Andrade is also on the cards – should they retain their belts in their next outings.
Fighting from southpaw, Awidjan was quick on his feet and landed a hard left down the middle onto the chin of Eubank Jr in the fourth round as Eubank Jr took his time to figure out what he expected to be an orthodox opponent.
Eubank Jr stood still for a moment after the straight left, but that was to be the highlight moment for the underdog who returned to his corner breathing heavily and nursing a swollen nose having been backed on to the ropes by the Brit.
The home fighter turned up the pace in the fifth round and landed spiteful body shots to further slow down Awidjan.
After a lengthy discussion with his corner, Awidjan called over the referee to say he could not continue. Eubank Jr revealed afterwards Awidjan had told him he had broken a rib with a body shot.
Fury strolls to stoppage victory
Hammer had said before the fight his opponent was nothing like his cousin and WBC champion Tyson Fury and his tactics were to keep close to Fury, charging forward and firing off overhand rights when he could.
Fury hit the deck in the fourth round, but it was rightly ruled a slip and Hammer’s aggressive style allowed the Brit to respond with uppercuts and left hooks.
Hammer, 34, was attempting to rough up his younger opponent, but was deducted a point in the fifth round for repeated blows to the back of the head. Suddenly a somewhat pedestrian fight burst into life when Hammer threw caution to the wind.
The German bulldozed forward, throwing big right hands but Fury was able to pick Hammer off almost at will, landing several three-punch combinations.
Hammer was stunned by hooks to the head with Fury delivering some spiteful counter punches moving backwards. Hammer was almost swinging from the hip at times, but Fury remained calm and appeared close to a decisive shot before the bell arrived to separate the heavyweights.
Fury would have been sensing victory going into the sixth round but Hammer’s team decided to pull their fighter out of the bout. Hammer complained of a bicep injury when he returned to the corner and was forced to retire as a result.