Over the past week or so the world’s press have been focusing heavily on the recently announced 9th July Tyson Fury vs. Wladimir Klitschko WBO/WBA/IBO Heavyweight Championships rematch.
Quite rightly so, it’s a huge fight, however just one week earlier, an equally World significant unification bout is also set to take place right here in the United Kingdom.
On July 2 at the Arena UK in Grantham, Lincolnshire, World #15 and British #1 ranked Marianne Marston will not only be challenging South Africa’s World Boxing Federation Super Bantamweight Champion Gabisile Tshabalala for her coveted crown, but will also be aiming to secure the World Boxing Union, Women’s International Boxing Association and Universal Boxing Organization accolades.
London based Marston, who was originally due to challenge Unathi Myekeni for the Bantamweight version of the WBF strap back in December, that was until Myekeni was forced to withdraw following a hand injury, is cleary relishing the belated opportunity, as she made clear when she spoke earlier.
“I cannot thank WBFed President Howard Goldberg enough for making this happen, like me he was so dissapointed when Unathi [Myekeni] pulled out injured last year.
"In addition to Howard, I would also lke to thank WIBA President Ryan Wissow, WBU President Don Lewis and Sebastien Pitois from the UBO, as they have been so supportive throughout my career, so to also challenge for their Championships really is so special for me.
"I’m forty two now, so honestly thought after Unathi pulled out, that’s it for me, I’ll never get the chance to fight for a World title, OK that’s not quite true, I could have fought for a vacant title, but to me that’s just not good enough, I want to fight the best, I want to beat the World Champion.
"I’ve seen video of Gabisile, when she fought Shannon [O’Connell] in 2013, but would very much like to find any video of her when she won the World title last year. I know how much I have changed, fight wise, since 2013 so really want to see if there are any changes to her style or tactics.
"From what I have seen, she’s a classy fighter, very quick hands. When she fought Shannon, she was mainly counter punching, which would suit me, but for some reason I have a feeling she will have a very different approach as a defending Champion.
"Either way, this will be a great fight for the fans, there’s such a contrast in our styles and in my view it’s those differences in style and tactical approach that will make this such a great fight to watch.
"British boxing is booming, we have so many World Champions at the moment, Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua, Kell Brook, Carl Frampton, Lee Selby, Liam Smith, Jamie McDonnell, Lee Haskins, Tony Moran, Craig Docherty, Terry Flanagan, Anthony Crolla, James DeGale and of course my old gym mate at the TKO, Billy Joe Saunders.
"Obviously they’re all men, so I want to redress the deficit a little and join them, as well as be the first British Female boxer to be crowned World Champion since Jane Couch beat Jaime Clampitt for the IWBF title in 2004.”
Gabisile Tshabalala vs. Marianne Marston for the WBF, WBU, WIBA and UBO Super Bantamweight Unified World Championship headlines the Russ Brown promoted "As Good As It Gets" event at the Arena UK in Grantham, Lincolnshire, UK on Saturday 2nd July.
Tickets: Priced £30 (Standard Seated) are available online at www.tkoboxoffice.com and www.mariannemarston.com