Savannah Marshall warned Lolita Muzeya that “I can box, I can fight” and vowed that her world championship would remain in the UK.
Marshall’s WBO middleweight title is at stake in Newcastle on Saturday night, live on Sky Sports, alongside Chris Eubank Jr’s return and Hughie Fury’s heavyweight battle.
Hartlepool’s Marshall told the buoyant crowd at Friday’s weigh-in: “I’m looking forward to it. It’s an honour to headline.
“I will be keeping the title in the north-east.”
Marshall is undefeated in 10 and is seeking her seventh consecutive knockout but is wary of her challenger.
“I expect a tough fight,” Marshall said. “She hasn’t come here just to make up the numbers.
“I expect her to come flying out of the blocks.
“I can box, I can fight, I can go forwards, I can go on the back foot. So I’m really confident.”
Zambia’s Muzeya told the north-east crowd: “I don’t care whether she’s from here!
“I know she is going to give me a good fight but I know what I’m capable of.
“Victory will belong to Lolita!”
Marshall is on a collision course with her long-time rival Claressa Shields, the American who became an undisputed champion in two divisions after winning back-to-back Olympic gold medals.
They are both signed to BOXXER, Sky Sports Boxing’s promoter, so the biggest women’s boxing match ever could be a step closer if Marshall retains her belt on Saturday.
“I know I will beat Claressa. And I know I will beat Lolita,” Marshall previously said. “But saying it and doing it are different things.
“Lolita is in my way. I’ll get shot of her and crack back on with Claressa.”
Sky Sports Boxing schedule
October 16 – Top Rank in San Diego
Emanuel Navarrete vs Joet Gonzalez – WBO featherweight title
October 16 – BOXXER in Newcastle
Savannah Marshall vs Lolita Muzeya – WBO middleweight title
Hughie Fury vs Christian Hammer
Chris Eubank Jr vs Wanik Awdijan
October 24 – Top Rank in Atlanta
Jamel Herring vs Shakur Stevenson – WBO super-featherweight title
October 31 – Top Rank in New York
Jose Zepeda vs Josue Vargas
November 6 – Top Rank in Las Vegas
Mikaela Mayer vs Maiva Hamadouche – IBF and WBO super-featherweight titles
November 6 – BOXXER in Liverpool
November 20 – BOXXER in London
Richard Riakporhe vs Olanrewaju Durodola
Caroline Dubois professional debut
November 20 – Top Rank in Las Vegas
Terence Crawford vs Shawn Porter – WBO welterweight title
December 11 – Top Rank in Las Vegas
Vasiliy Lomachenko vs Richard Commey
December 17 – Top Rank in Montreal
Artur Beterbiev vs Marcus Browne – IBF and WBC light-heavyweight titles
December 18 – Top Rank in Glasgow
Josh Taylor vs Jack Catterall – undisputed super-lightweight title