Hannah Rankin thinks Femke Hermans is a good “step up” for Savannah Marshall, as they prepare to face off in the WBO middleweight title fight on April 2, live on Sky Sports.
The Hartlepool fighter takes on Hermans in the main event at the Newcastle Arena, with a win bringing her one step closer to securing a fight with her biggest rival, Claressa Shields.
As Marshall steps into the ring with an 11-0 record (9 KOs), Rankin thinks it will be interesting to see how she does against her Belgian challenger in comparison to Shields, who beat Fermans back in 2018.
“It’s a good challenge for her. I think it’s going to be good to see how she measures up with Claressa Shields’ performance against Hermans,” says Rankin.
“Claressa just basically beat her up over 10 rounds. She outboxed her for 10 rounds, all around the ring, to an easy unanimous decision.
“Femke’s got a lot to do. Savannah’s a big puncher, she’s nice and relaxed and calm. Femke switches (to southpaw), so it might give Savannah something a little bit different to look at.”
Although it is Marshall’s biggest challenge to date, Rankin believes she will be able to increase her win tally to 12 as long as she stays focused on the night.
“Ultimately I see Savannah stopping Femke, mid-to-late, but you never know, it might be an early night’s work for her as well.
“I think this is a good step up, a good test, and adds a common opponent in the build-up to the Shields fight.
“It’s so important not to look past what’s in front of you. Femke Hermans could turn up in the best shape we’ve ever seen her in and box an absolute blinder, and Savannah will have to work that out and do something maybe a bit different.
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“It’s a good test for her, somebody a little big bigger and somebody in the ring for her to kind of work out, because she’s got an awkward style Femke Hermans, she’s a little bit herky-jerky, so I think it will be interesting to see how Savannah figures it all out.”
Natasha Jonas: I want unification fight
Natasha Jonas and her promoter Ben Shalom have confirmed that she wants her next fight to be a super-welterweight world championship unification clash with fellow Brit Hannah Rankin.
“I don’t think there’s any secret,” Jonas told Sky Sports. “Hannah Rankin and myself have both said that a unification fight – if she comes through her fight in May – is something that we both want, something that we both believe we can win, and it makes sense because it’s a good unification fight.”
Live boxing on Sky Sports
Saturday April 2 – Newcastle
Savannah Marshall vs Femke Hermans – WBO middleweight title
Florian Marku vs Chris Jenkins
Nathan Gorman vs Scott Alexander
Saturday April 16 – Coventry
Boxxer Series Tournament: The Lightweights
Sunday May 1 – Las Vegas
Oscar Valdez vs Shakur Stevenson – WBC & WBO super-featherweight titles