Savannah Marshall will have to act to keep intact her remaining super middleweight titles.
The two-division titlist was presented with an “Interim Medical Certification” order by the WBO regarding an existing hand injury that has stalled her current title reign. Marshall was already downgraded to ‘Champion in Recess’ by the WBC and now has to act to ensure the same—or more severe action—is not taken by another sanctioning body.
“Please be advised that on October 6, 2023, official boxing press outlet “Boxing Scene” reported that the above-referenced fighter was subject to hand surgery and thus unable to compete until 2024,” WBO Championship Committee chairman Luis Batista-Salas notified Marshall’s promoter, Ben Shalom, in a letter obtained by BoxingScene.com. “According to the article, Ms. Marshall has suffered a severe hand injury.
“Therefore, considering the foregoing, Ms. Marshall is hereby ordered to submit within the next 10 days a detailed medical explanation of her injury, findings, recovery prognosis, and her physician’s opinion as to when will she be physically and medically cleared to compete and return to active competition.”
Marshall (15-1, 12KOs) won the undisputed super middleweight championship after a July 1 unanimous decision win over Franchon Crews-Dezurn (8-2, 2KOs) in Manchester, England. Her reign was immediately on borrowed time, as it was confirmed headed into the bout that the winner would have to next face Shadasia Green (13-0, 11KOs) in a WBC mandatory title defense.
An injury claim was instead cited by Marshall in lieu of honoring the fight, which prompted the WBC to remove the title from her possession and downgrade her status. Green and Crews-Dezurn are now to fight for the vacant WBC belt on December 15 in Orlando, Florida.
Green is also ranked number-one with the WBO, who lists Crews-Dezurn as its number-three contender. It is not yet known if the Puerto Rico-headquartered sanctioning body would make the belt available for that fight, in the event Marshall is unable to provide sufficient medical proof of injury.
What is clear is that her team will have to move quickly to avoid her previous undisputed reign whittling down any further.
“Failure to comply with this order will result in Ms. Marshall waiving all rights hereunder and with the Committee proceeding per WBO Regulations of World Championship Contests,” noted Batista-Salas.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox