Savannah Marshall would like to get revenge on long-time rival Claressa Shields in MMA, but maintains her focus is on boxing.
Hartlepool’s Marshall signed with MMA organisation PFL in August, joining Shields in the promotion where the American has previously had two fights.
Marshall would welcome the opportunity to continue her long rivalry with Shields, even if it crossed into a second sport.
The American walked away from their high-profile undisputed middleweight championship fight last year with the victory, and now Marshall will continue to seek retribution whether that is in MMA or boxing.
“I’ve boxed her in the ring and I’m chasing her to another sport,” Marshall told Sky Sports News.
She encountered Shields at an event to announce her new deal with PFL.
“She said something along the lines of ‘I hate you, but I love you.’ It’s one of them things. I bet she’s sick of the sight of me now,” Marshall said.
But she added: “Even taking Claressa out of the equation the opportunity is just too good for me to miss.”
Although Marshall is confident in her abilities to hold her own in mixed martial arts, the ‘Silent Assassin’ is also aware of the potential risks of entering a new sport.
“It could go either way. I could really take to it and take the PFL world by storm or in a year’s time I could be sat here thinking what on earth did I do that for? Face all mashed up. But you only live once,” she said.
Marshall takes inspiration from some of the world’s top mixed martial artists and hopes to emulate the way they switched from boxing to MMA.
“There are quite a few boxers that transitioned over. You had Holly Holm. Obviously, Conor McGregor, his fundamentals were boxing and when you not just watch but actually look and take note you can actually see who’s got those boxing fundamentals,” she said.
In July Marshall won the WBC, WBA, WBO and IBF super-middleweight titles after a hard-fought victory over Franchon Crews-Dezurn.
After becoming the undisputed champion, Marshall has not lost her love for the sport of boxing and acknowledges, while she’ll balance the two, her primary sport will still take precedence.
“I’ll be focusing on the boxing when I’m boxing and then when I’m not boxing, I’ll be focusing on this full-time,” she said.
“Boxing’s my main priority. This is just a little adventure.”
Marshall must defend her belts against WBC mandatory challenger Shadasia Green otherwise she could potentially be stripped of that title. The Hartlepool fighter has no intention of giving up her crown and is expecting to return to the ring soon.
“I won’t be boxing till next year and then I’ve got mandatories and things like that, so it’s all geared around boxing,” she said. “So hopefully back in the ring early next year and then potentially the summer.”