Floyd Mayweather v Conor McGregor: Savannah Marshall 'came close to quitting'

Savannah Marshall won gold at the 2012 World Championships and at the 2014 Commonwealth Games
Marshall nearly quit the sport after failing to progress beyond the quarter-finals at the Olympics
Floyd Mayweather v Conor McGregor
Date: Saturday, 26 August to Sunday, 27 August Venue: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live and text updates on the BBC Sport website and app

British former world amateur champion Savannah Marshall says she was "close to quitting" boxing before a chance Facebook message changed her life.

It led to the 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist and 2012 world champion turning professional and joining Floyd Mayweather's stable of fighters.

Marshall will make her pro debut in Las Vegas on Saturday, on the undercard of Mayweather's fight with Conor McGregor.

"I didn't know if I wanted to carry on," said the 26-year-old.

After failing to progress beyond the quarter-finals at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, the Hartlepool fighter began to question her future in the sport.

Her fear was the lack of an Olympic medal, and her understated personality, would mean she would struggle to attract fans as a professional.

However, a message from Sam Jones - a friend of one of her British team-mates - changed that.

The sports consultancy firm manager met Mayweather as part of the promotions team for the fighter's UK tour, and mentioned Marshall's situation to the five-weight champion.

"I don't know exactly what Sam said but I could never repay him for what he did," said Marshall, who is trained by Peter Fury, uncle of former heavyweight world champion Tyson.

"It gave me a mega switch in mindset. I felt like I didn't have the drive in me any more. Then, out of the blue, I get offered the deal of my dreams. I thought this is my chance and this is my time to be reborn."

The contest between Irish UFC champion McGregor and unbeaten American Mayweather is set to be one of the richest in boxing history, with Hollywood A-listers expected at ringside.

And Marshall feels her opening bout as a professional - against 33-year-old American Sydney LeBlanc in the super-middleweight division - could be a career-defining moment.

"I could be in that ring and I'll look over and see Beyonce and Jay-Z sat there watching me," she said.

"I'm not going to, but I feel like after Mayweather-McGregor I could retire because of the feeling of accomplishment. Nothing is ever going to top this occasion."

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