There is no love lost between Savannah Marshall and Hannah Rankin, which is just as well because the fists are about to fly, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and on DAZN in all of its nine markets including the U.S.
Marshall and Rankin’s battle of Britain is more than a spat between two rivals, it’s a shoot-out at The SSE Arena Wembley for the vacant WBO World Middleweight Title.
The 29 and 30-year-olds clash on the undercard of one of the biggest Heavyweight fights of the year where ex-undisputed World Cruiserweight king Oleksandr Usyk puts his unbeaten record on the line against Britain’s Derek Chisora.
Marshall vs. Rankin looks a beauty, as the English girl with medal after medal on the amateur scene meets the battle-hardened Scot who has been in the trenches four times in World Title scraps.
“It’s a perfect match-up,” said Rankin, who is confident of ending the unbeaten record of her opponent she has already indulged in some social media jabs with. “It’s been on the cards for some time and I think people are genuinely excited by a proper 50-50 fight. I think me and Sav will be a real barnstormer and people know that and that’s why there was such a sense of anticipation.
“After I lost my World Title, Savannah thought it was appropriate to go on social media and start saying I needed the opportunity to fight her, and it would be nice for her to give me that opportunity. I’ve made all of my own opportunities in this sport. I became World Champion off my own back. Me and my team did it ourselves.
“Firstly, that’s disrespectful. Also, I’m a former World Champion. Exactly what has she done? Nothing in the professional game. When we were in the bubble I expected her to say something to me, but she said nothing. You can’t be a keyboard warrior and then say nothing when you’re face to face with people. It’s just not appropriate, and it’s disrespectful.”
Rankin believes the contest will eclipse the terrific tussle between new-kid-on-the-block Terri Harper and Marshall’s old Olympic team-mate Natasha Jonas for the WBC and IBO world Super-Featherweight belts in August.
“This is the first big fight at one of the higher weights in the UK, I don’t think there’s been a World Championship bout above Super-Lightweight before,” said the Glasgow star.
“There’s not been anything like this before, we’ve been on a collision course for a while, we can both bang and there are a lot of things that can happen in this fight. I’ve been buzzing for this and think boxing fans are excited too.”
Marshall vs. Rankin is part of a huge night of boxing as pound-for-pound star Oleksandr Usyk (17-0, 13 KOs) faces his first real Heavyweight test in Derek Chisora (32-9, 23 KOs), Lee Selby (28-2, 9 KOs) and George Kambosos Jr (18-0, 10 KOs) meet in a Final Eliminator for the IBF Lightweight World Title, Belfast’s Tommy McCarthy (16-2, 8 KOs) clashes with Belgium’s Bilal Laggoune (25-1-2, 14 KOs) for the vacant European Cruiserweight Title, Amy Timlin (4-0) faces off with Carly Skelly (3-0) for the vacant Commonwealth Super-Bantamweight Title and Ramla Ali makes her professional debut against Eva Hubmeyer (1-0, 1 KO).