* Femke Hermans has pulled out of her fight with Savannah Marshall since time or writing.
Conor Benn will continue his development, and pursuit of a world title shot, as he takes on Samuel Vargas this Saturday. The fight will be broadcast from the UK live on Sky Sports and DAZN globally. The undercard boasts two female world title fights, and some of the women’s most recognisable and exciting names in the sport.
*The first world title fight of the undercard will see Savannah Marshall taking on Femke Hermans, for Marshall’s WBO middleweight title. This will be her first defence of the title, having beaten Hannah Rankin last October. The Brit will be hoping a win here gets her one step closer to a super fight with the dominant unified champion, Claressa Shields.
Over the last month, Shields has spoken out about her desire to fight the Hartlepool-born fighter, wanting to avenge the 2012 loss, having numerous conversations on Twitter with promoter Eddie Hearn.
Her opponent, Hermans, has previously fought Shields, going the distance and showing her durability. A former world champion in her own right, she now holds the European title and has gained a wealth of experience. This will be her first fight in the United Kingdom, and she has the opportunity to cause a major upset. Marshall has the ability to rival Katie Taylor as the best British/Irish female fighter, and this is a fight she should be comfortably winning.
On the fight, Marshall told DAZN:
"I know she's no pushover, and I'm looking forward to getting in there. For me, this is probably my toughest test to date. The reigning European champion. She lost out on a close decision to the world super-middleweight champion, so I know it's going to be a tough fight. I never go into a fight thinking I'm going to stop someone, but I know if I land, whoever I land on, I will hurt them. I'm just looking forward to putting on a good display and showcasing my skills."
In addition to this, Shannon Courtenay will be taking on Ebonie Bridges for the vacant WBA bantamweight title. It is a fight that has been a while in the making, with the pair having previously had numerous online war of words. Both fighters boast an exciting style, and have promised fireworks on Saturday night. The fight was scheduled to be a rematch for Courtenay against Rachel Ball, who defeated in her at last years’ fight camp however, Ball is recovering from COVID-19 allowing Bridges to step in.
Bridges is coming off a relatively short break, having last fought in March of this year, with a unanimous decision victory over Carol Earl in Sydney. Both fighters are relatively inexperienced, with only twelve pro fights between them. This uncertainty does make it an interesting matchup, and extremely hard to predict. An emphatic victory for either fighter could go a long way to helping them establish themselves amongst the elite of the women’s game, and set up bigger fights down the line. We can also expect Rachel Ball will deservedly get her shot at the victor, all being well, later this year.
Courtenay told DAZN:
“She’s a good fighter. She’s come forward and aggressive. Stylistically it’s going to be a very good fight. I’m going to win. I’m not going to say how I’m going to do it. I’m confident in myself and I’m confident in my ability. It’s evident that I can dig hard. She looks like she can dig hard as well. She likes to stand and trade and I like to stand and trade. I just want to fight. I just want to punch her in the face. If she wants to burn her energy and time on social media, then let her do that.”
Bridges also spoke to DAZN, stating:
"I’m all about shock value. Everything that I do makes headlines, that’s just me. I’m naturally like that, it just happens. When I get in there and throw the first punch of the fight, people are going to sit there and they’re going to be shocked because they have no idea what I'm capable of. I’m not just a Barbie Boxercise fighter.”
At time of writing, the only two other fighters who have been confirmed for the undercard are John Hedges and Kash Farooq. This will Hedges’ second pro bout, having controversially won his debut last October against Jan Ardon, whilst the Glaswegian Farooq won the vacant WBA European title last November and could be en-route for a rematch against fellow Scotsman & current European champion Lee McGregor.
Channel: Sky Sports and DAZN
Start Time: 7pm GMT