Savannah Marshall's former Hartlepool school shows support ahead of heavyweight fight

  • Chris Conway reports

Staff and students at the former school of Hartlepool boxer Savannah Marshall say they are backing her to do the business in her high-stakes bout this weekend.

English Martyrs Catholic School in Hartlepool has been showing its support ahead of her grudge match against Claressa Shields the O2 in London.

The fight is being dubbed the biggest event in the history of women's boxing.

Among the staff at the school is Rachel Thurston, who is also Savannah's cousin. She will be in the crowd for the big fight in London.

She said: "She's come from Millbank Road in Hartlepool, a very normal, working class background. We're just so proud she's reaching these heights today."

"It's really hard to imagine, I'm scared, I'm excited, I've got all these feelings. I think we've got three buses going down from Hartlepool, lots of people going down on the trains. I think the whole town, and hopefully many in the whole country, will be behind her."

Her former PE teacher, Peter McMahon, says he could see her talent from an early age.

"From teaching PE for the number of years that I did, you get to know those students who have that 'x factor', that something special that translates raw talent and ability into ultimate success," he said.

"Win or lose, she'll always be a hero in my eyes."

Savannah Marshall is set to take on long-time rival Claressa Shields in what is being dubbed the biggest night in women's boxing history. Credit: PA

The winner of this fight will become the undisputed champion in their division, holding all four Middleweight Champion belts.

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