Savannah Marshall Stops Mirela Vargas On Her PFL Debut; Calls Out Claressa Shields

June 9, 2024
1 week
Savannah Marshall Stops Mirela Vargas On Her PFL Debut; Calls Out Claressa Shields

Savannah Marshall won a first-round TKO on her PFL debut against Mirela Vargas. 

Marshall, who became the Undisputed Super Middleweight Women’s Boxing Champion before signing with the PFL, debuted in front of her home fans in Newcastle at a PFL Europe 2 event. The fight took place at a 160-pound catchweight. As part of her build-up, she had been training with UFC Interim Heavyweight Champion Tom Aspinall. Aspinall was also in her corner on fight night, which proved pivotal, as Marshall had eyes on a Claressa Shields rematch.

Pre-Fight Comments

“It was just the opportunity [from the PFL to fight in MMA] – something I hadn’t considered before. I was supposed to box in March, and the PFL came to me for June 8, along with a potential matchup against Claressa Shields in the cage. That’s what got me excited. … Nothing is promised. It could happen. There is potential there, hopefully. I’m in a Catch-22 – there is no one really for me to fight in boxing aside from rematches with Franchon and Claressa. The PFL opportunity is coming at the perfect time. I can give it a go with PFL and see where it goes,” Marshall said

Early on, Marshall was taken to the ground, a significant change from boxing. However, she got back up as she regained the center. Savannah showed promising signs with her striking, tagging Vargas when her hands were low. However, Vargas landed leg kicks on Marshall to disrupt her rhythm. 

Marshall was landing combinations on Vargas. However, Vargas pushed back with her own shots to knock Marshall down. Vargas was landing more leg kicks. Once Marshall got back up from another takedown, she let her hands go. Vargas was backed up, offering nothing in return as the referee stopped the fight. Claressa Shields was watching as Marshall called her out. That would be a rerun of their 160-pound clash, which Shields won in their boxing bout. Shields entered the cage as her and Marshall appeared to agree to a rematch. 

Post-Fight

“I’ve only been doing this for nine months. I’ve absolutely loved it, but yeah, these MMA fighters – you’ve got to be a little bit crazy to do this. Where’s me pal, Claressa? See that? That’s how you get up off the floor, babe. Are we getting it on in the cage or what? Let’s do it. Full MMA rules. Let’s go,” Marshall 

“[Marshall] looked worse than me in my first MMA fight, you looked way worse. [I’ll fight her in MMA]. Why not?,” Shields stated 

Full Card

Catchweight (160 lbs) Main Event: Savannah Marshall defeated Mirela Vargas by TKO (punches) in the first round at 4:27.

Lightweight Bout: Dylan Tuke won against Kane Mousah by unanimous decision with scores of 29-28, 30-27, and 29-28.

Welterweight Quarterfinal: Jack Grant knocked out Charlie Leary with a suplex and ground-and-pound in the first round at 0:41.

Bantamweight Bout: Lewis McGrillen-Evans secured a unanimous decision victory over Matiss Zaharovs with all judges scoring 29-28.

Bantamweight Quarterfinal: Dean Garnett vs. Ayton De Paepe* (Note: The outcome is unspecified).

Women’s Flyweight Quarterfinal: Shanelle Dyer knocked out Mariam Torchinava with a head kick in the first round at 3:53.

Featherweight Bout: Ibragim Ibragimov submitted Josh Reed with an arm-triangle choke in the first round at 0:50.

Bantamweight Quarterfinal: Julien Pierre Lopez defeated Dominique Wooding by submission (guillotine) in the first round at 3:10.

Women’s Flyweight Quarterfinal: Karolina Wójcik won against Lizzy Gevers by unanimous decision, with all judges scoring 29-28.

Lightweight Bout: Claudio Pacella defeated Mark Ewan by unanimous decision with scores of 30-27, 29-28, and 30-27.

Bantamweight Quarterfinal: Khurshed Kakhorov knocked out Tuomas Grönvall with a right hook in the third round at 1:11.

Women’s Flyweight Quarterfinal: Valentina Scatizzi won a unanimous decision over Marie Loiseau, with all judges scoring 30-27.

Featherweight Bout: Ben Woolliss won by TKO (punches) against Nikola Ivanovic in the first round at 4:02.

Bantamweight Quarterfinal: Alexander Luster submitted Alperen Karabulut with a rear-naked choke in the first round at 1:59.

Women’s Flyweight Quarterfinal: Paulina Wiśniewska defeated Dee Begley by TKO (punches) in the second round at 3:08.

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