Marshall fires warning shot

Marshall fires warning shot
By Sportsbeat

25/07/2012 at 03:36Updated 25/07/2012 at 03:53

Savannah Marshall knows she painted a target on her back after toppling the world's best earlier this year, but the Hartlepool boxer insists her rivals haven't seen anything yet ahead of London 2012.

The 21-year-old middleweight heads into the capital as the one to beat, having left May's World Championships in China with the gold medal.

This unsurprisingly earned her a spot on Great Britain's team, with London 2012 marking the debut of women's boxing in the Olympic programme.

And although former English Martyrs pupil Marshall knows all eyes will be on her this summer, she is vowing to give her onlookers plenty more to talk about when all is said and done.

"I feel the same now even though I'm world champion, if anything it means I have to train even harder because I know that everyone else is coming after me," she said.

"My opponents will be preparing themselves, I feel like in the gym all eyes are on me, I'm the one they are watching tapes of and preparing for.

"I feel a little bit of pressure as world champion but at the end of the day I do what I can to ignore what other people have to say.

"The Olympics are going to be twice as nerve-wracking as the World final was, to have all my family and friends there watching me will be amazing.

"But I started out boxing because I was a real tomboy when I was younger, one of my friends used to box and I remember him coming round to my house and showing off all of his trophies.

"And for me, I got jealous and just thought ‘hold on, I want to get my hands on some of these trophies.' And there is no bigger trophy than Olympic gold so I will be doing all I can to make sure I finish with that in my grasp."

The Olympics have long been a pathway for boxers to break into the professional ranks, Audley Harrison, Amir Khan and most recently James DeGale all breaking away from the amateur ranks after starring under the bright Games lights.

But Marshall insists she has no intention of swapping the Olympic podium for a professional contract any time soon.

"I'm not really interested in turning professional, I am happy where I am now, training and representing Team GB," she added.

"I'm only 21 now so if I'm still good enough I could do something like five Olympics and that would be amazing, I think it would be a great ambition."