As 11,000 fans prepare for fight night on Tyneside, Hartlepool boxer Savannah Marshall is adamant her world title is staying in the North East.
Hundreds attended the public weigh-in at Gateshead's Metrocentre on Friday afternoon to see the Hartlepool boxer and other homegrown talent meet their opponents at the scales, ahead of the mighty clash at Newcastle's Utilita Arena.
Savannah, the WBO middleweight world champion, faces Zambia's Lolita Muzeya, defending her belt for the second time since defeating Hannah Rankin at Wembley Arena in 2020. Despite former world champion Chris Eubanks Jr facing Wanik Awdijan on the same ticket, Marshall's fight is top of the bill.
She says it's an incredible achievement for women's boxing: "For me to be headlining? As a woman in a man's sport..."
It will be far from an easy bout for Savannah, when she faces Lolita Muzeya in the ring. Her Zambian challenger has won all 16 of her fights so far - but believes she will be taking her belt back to Hartlepool after the match.
As ever, Savannah made sure to thank her hometown for their "forever support".
Due to the Pandemic, Savannah lost her opportunity to defend her title in front of a crowd at the beginning of 2020. She says no fighting meant no pay - and she had to apply for other jobs. Could she be the most humble person from Hartlepool? Take a look at this:
Also fighting in front of an 11,000 strong home crowd are some of our region's future prospects. Although, it was confirmed Newcastle's Lewis Ritson had to pull out from the event citing illness.
The Undercard features Newcastle heavyweight giant Steve ‘USSR’ Robinson (3-0, 2 KO’s), unbeaten Middlesbrough cruiserweight Michael Webster (5-0-0, 3 KO’s), Wallsend welterweight April Hunter (4-0) and Georgia O’Connor and Mark Dickinson, two north-east amateur standouts making their professional debuts.
ITV Tyne Tees spoke to some of the fighters at the weigh-in:
"Seven years ago, I walked in a gym to lose weight... I'm from a council estate, I have nowt".
"I want boxing to just become boxing. Not 'female boxing', not 'male boxing'".
"Inspiring kids and young women means more to me than any belts".
The event takes place at Newcastle's Utilita Arena from 4:30pm on Saturday 16 October.