Savannah Marshall may not have boxed since taking the undisputed super middleweight title from Franchon Crews Dezurn last summer, but she certainly hasn’t been idle.

Marshall (13-1, 10 KOs) is currently knee- (and elbow-)deep in preparations for her MMA debut. The cage door will close behind the two-weight boxing world champion for the first time at a PFL event in Newcastle, England, on June 8.

Marshall, 32, may currently be engrossed with the intricacies of her new sport, but she is still keeping a keen eye on the constantly shifting sands of women’s boxing.

Although she would love the middle and super middleweight divisions to be as vibrant as the lower weight classes currently are, Marshall accepts that is unlikely to happen anytime soon and would settle for a viable contender to emerge at 160 or 168 pounds, 

“It’s weird, because at one point lightweight was bouncing,” Marshall told BoxingScene. “Then it went to super feather. Then it went to super welter, with Natasha Jonas and Terri Harper. Now it’s welter. The pool of women at middle and super middle is just so shallow. You never know, middle or super middle might get a bit spicy, but I can’t see it in the near future.”

As Marshall says, welterweight has become the place to be.

The division has had real strength in depth since becoming the permanent home for a group of well-known fighters who have spent the past couple of years moving up and down the weight classes.

In January, Natasha Jonas cemented her status as the best welterweight on the planet, clinging to her IBF title after 10 toe-to-toe rounds with Mikaela Mayer, while WBO champion Sandy Ryan recently pushed her own claims by dominating Terri Harper over four one-sided rounds.

On Saturday, 2020 Olympic gold medalist Lauren Price will get her first world title shot when she boxes former undisputed champion Jessica McCaskill for her WBA belt.

Marshall believes that the 29-year-old Price has the style, fitness and discipline to not only outclass Chicago’s McCaskill but also fight her way to the top of the pile.

“Welterweight is buzzing, and I think Lauren Price beats them all,” Marshall said. “I can’t see McCaskill winning a round. The thing that’s a bit special about Lauren is that she’s taken her amateur style over and, whereas normally you’d see fighters die off after four rounds, Lauren can keep that footwork up for 10 rounds. The pro game’s a lot more flat-footed, looking for your shots, whereas Lauren’s took her footwork over. And I can’t see anyone getting near her, especially McCaskill, who has got slow, ploddy feet.”

Marshall may be confident that Price has what it takes to emerge as the best welterweight on the planet, but she also believes that she will eventually have to prove it against the dangerous Ryan, who was extremely unfortunate in having to settle for a split draw when she boxed McCaskill last year. 

“I reckon that’ll be the one who’s the smartest,” Marshall said. “I think Sandy’s a brilliant boxer, but you’ve seen it in the past where she’s chosen to fight. I think if she’d chosen to box against McCaskill, I think she’d have boxed her head off. I think she did anyway, but I think she’d have had a lot more success boxing and moving rather than going in there wanting a bit of a war.”

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