Commonwealth Games 2014: Boxer Savannah Marshall draws strength from her bond with Nicola Adams

The middleweight suffered a shock first-round defeat to Maria Volnova of Kazakhstan at London 2012

Savannah Marshall says her close friendship with her England team-mate Nicola Adams has helped put the nightmare of London 2012 behind her and turned her focus towards a Commonwealth Games gold medal.

The 23-year-old from Hartlepool was a hot favourite heading into her home Olympic Games having won the women’s world middleweight title that year, but she suffered a shock first-round defeat to Maria Volnova of Kazakhstan.

Adams became a superstar after her win over China’s Cancan Ren but, despite their contrasting fortunes, the pair have formed a close bond which Marshall believes has left her much better equipped for the big occasion.

Marshall and Adams are two of 23 home nation boxers who will compete in 26 semi-final bouts at the SECC in Glasgow on Friday, with all of them already guaranteed at least a bronze medal.

Marshall said: “Nicky is one of my best friends. We are able to make each other laugh and relax. I try not to think about the Olympics any more. It wasn’t like I was uncomfortable because I’ve boxed in two world finals, but I know what to expect now and how to cope.”

Marshall’s route to the final is blocked by powerful Nigerian Edith Ogoke, who claims to model her style on her hero Joe Frazier and said after her thumping win over Sri Lanka’s Shiromali Weerarathna: “I am boxing with style and I’m going to beat the English girl next.”

Fears of a possible lack of competition in the debut of women’s boxing at these Games have proved unfounded with a number of impressive bouts, not least at flyweight where Adams faces a semi-final against Canada’s Mandy Bujold.

PA

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