Tag: Marianne Marston


TEAM AMERICA, All-Star Elite Fighting Force, Set To Invade London.


TEAM AMERICA, All-Star Elite Fighting Force, Set To Invade London.


An All-Star fighting force, code name ‘Team America’, comprising of Lightweight sensation, and the new UNBC World Light Welterweight Champion, Hammerin’ Hank Lundy, UNBC Super Middleweight Intercontinental Champion, Daphir ‘No Fear’ Smith, WBC Continental Americas Light Heavyweight Champion, Brian ‘Bionic Bull’ Cohen, Heavyweight contender, Gerald ‘The Jedi’ Nobles, Eric ‘The Outlaw’ Hunter, Tim Witherspoon Jnr, Nathalie Brown and Christina Leadbeater, are set to invade London in the coming weeks.

Following in the tradition of the American armed forces code of honour, which dictates that a fallen or captured comrade is never left behind, this veritable army of Philadelphia’s boxing elite are set to travel to London, England on what has been described as a ‘rescue mission’ of adopted daughter, Philly trained British Super Bantamweight, Marianne ‘Golden Girl’ Marston.

Supporting ‘Team America’ on this mission are some serious ‘Big Guns’ in the form of World Champions, Steve ‘USS’ Cunningham, ‘Terrible’ Tim Witherspoon, Buster Drayton, Robert ‘Bam Bam’ Hines and, hopefully, the man who ‘discovered’ and brought Marianne to America in the first place, the legendary Heavyweight Champion of the World Smokin’ Joe Frazier.

The whole operation went into the planning stages following Philadelphia boxing journalist, Kerry O’Connor, highlighting Marianne’s visa woes, which prevented her from debuting in America earlier this year, and encouraged readers to contact the American Embassy in London to lobby on her behalf.

This soon became a full blown world wide campaign culminating in many boxing luminaries, on both sides of the Atlantic, working together to create the UK vs USA two part event titled The TransAtlantic Challenge. The first event will take place in London, tentatively planned for Marianne’s birthday on the 31st October providing a British promoter partner is secured in time, with the return ‘home coming’ show planned for February 2010.

Marianne, who was trained by Smokin’ Joe and his son Marvis, until their gym closed in March 08, before becoming part of IBF Cruiserweight World Champion Steve ‘USS’ Cunningham’s team, based at the James Shuler Memorial Gym in West Philadelphia, flew back to London in February this year to unsuccessfully apply for the visa required for her professional debut on the undercard of Brian Cohen’s WBC Continental Americas title fight on the 9th May.

Promoters, Bionic Bull Promotions, offered Marianne a second chance to debut, this time on the undercard of Hammerin’ Hank Lundy’s UNBC Light Welterweight World title challenge on the 26th September, again the visa, she was advised to apply for, was refused and she was advised that now she requires a professional athletes P1 visa and would need to compete in an international event to become eligible.

Veteran boxing manager Ivan Cohen, one of the main driving forces behind Team America and the rescue mission, led a similar American invasion on London in 1984. Ivan’s charges 25 years ago, James ‘Bonecrusher’ Smith and Buster Drayton, destroyed their esteemed, and previously unbeaten, British opposition of Frank Bruno and Mark Kaylor in knockout fashion.

Ivan Cohen, who is clearly intent on producing a similar result for Team America on this sortie, mapped out his battle plan. “How could we possibly forget Marianne, we’re coming to rescue her and get her back to the United States soon. We really miss her over here. The US Embassy in England doesn’t know what it’s talking about when they say Women’s Boxing is a hobby, let them get in the ring and try it themselves. They don’t know what they are talking about.

We’re coming over to England to rescue Marianne and we’re coming in style. We’re bringing over some of the most exciting and talented fighters in America today.

We’ve got the new UNBC Champion Hammerin’ Hank Lundy, This kid can fight, he’s one of the most exciting fighters in the United States right now. Fighters are running away from him, they’re frightened of him, they’re changing weight class to get away from him.

He’s one of the most exciting fighters anyone has ever seen, he’s talked about all over the World. You see how he took the UNBC title so easily, he dominates everyone. He’s World Champion now and he’ll bring the title to England for this fight.

It’s not just Hank, all the fighters coming over to England are exciting quality fighters, fighters like Brian Cohen, Light Heavyweight/Super Middleweight. He’s got seven title belts, World belts. Daphir ‘No Fear’ Smith, the current UNBC Super Middleweight Intercontinental Champion, Heavyweight contender Gerald ‘The Jedi’ Nobles, the exciting Eric ‘The Outlaw’ Hunter and Tim Witherspoon Jnr.

We’ll also be bringing over Nathalie Brown, from Canada via Jamaica. She’s going to fight for a title against Angel McKenzie. Last but not least we’ll be bringing Marianne’s long time sparring partner, Christina Leadbeater, to fight her.

Hey, I’m telling ya Marianne can fight, I’ve seen her in the gym, my fighters have seen her in the gym. We’re coming to England to rescue her. That’s what we’re coming to do.”

Marianne’s team boss and American coach, Steve ‘USS’ Cunningham, who had sat quietly nodding his head whilst Ivan spoke burst into life as soon as he had finished. “What a great event this is going to be, I can’t wait to see Team America represent our country, but as Ivan said there’s something even bigger we will be fighting for that night, we will be fighting for a promising fighter to get a shot at pursuing her dream to become a top contender in women’s boxing in America.

I know first hand how difficult the boxing business can be, but Marianne is getting stopped before even getting in the ring and that is a shame. I know that she has a great work ethic and given the opportunity to come to America and fight professional, I believe she would give it her all. I truly hope that after this fight, she is given her visa and with that her chance at pursuing the American dream.”

Without doubt Ivan and Steve have made Team America’s objectives crystal clear, but don’t go thinking this is a solo effort by them though, it’s anything but, this is definitively a joint UK-USA operation with many British boxing ‘heavyweights’, including former Olympic coach Terry Edwards MBE, top Irish manager and trainer John Rooney Jnr, former WBC Intercontinental Cruiserweight Champion Bruce ‘Lionheart’ Scott, Former European Bantamweight Champion Ian ‘Dappa’ Napa, Erick ‘The Eagle’ Ochieng, Ben Murphy, Britain’s first European Amateur Bantamweight Champion for 47 years, Luke Campbell, and Big Brother star Angel ‘The Artist’ McKenzie, to name but a few, putting their collective weight behind Marianne and the TransAtlantic Challenge.

On the announcement of TransAtlantic challenge various of Marianne’s supporters including Karol ‘Dr KO’ Ozimkowski, Ben ‘The Entertainer’ Day, Ian ‘Dappa’ Napa, Ben Murphy, Erick ‘The Eagle’ Ochieng, Ben ‘White Sugar’ Doughty, Darren ‘Mr R&B’ Hamilton etc, dropped into Rooney’s Boxing Gym in South London, where Marianne is currently training, to show their support.

Further announcements are expected shortly as so far only Marianne and Angel McKenzie are confirmed for TEAM GB. The TransAtlantic Challenge organisers are confident that the full lineup for the British squad will be named shortly, as will be a firm date and venue for the historic London event.

Marianne Marston and Angel McKenzie Team Up For Key September Fights


Marianne Marston and Angel McKenzie Team Up For Key September Fights


Probably the two best known female boxers in the UK, Smokin’ Joe Frazier/ Steve ‘USS’ Cunningham protégé Marianne ‘Golden Girl’ Marston and Big Brother star Angel ‘The Artist’ McKenzie are working together at Rooney’s Boxing Gym, close to London Bridge, to prepare for their upcoming fights.

The two teamed up after Marston contacted McKenzie to arrange a sparring session for her BBBofC British professional license trial and the pair struck it off straight away prompting McKenzie to ask Marston if she would be available for regular sparring in preparation for her September fight against current GBC Super Featherweight Champion and British number one Lyndsey Scragg.

Marston, who was managed and trained by the legendary Heavyweight Champion of the World Smokin’ Joe Frazier and his son Marvis at their North Philadelphia landmark gym until it was unexpectedly closed in March 2008 was then taken under the wing of then IBF Cruiserweight World Champion Steve ‘USS’ Cunningham at the James Shuler Memorial Gym in West Philadelphia, has been training at Rooney’s Boxing Gym since returning to London earlier this year to obtain a visa for her planned professional debut on the undercard of Brian Cohen’s May 9th WBC Americas Light Heavyweight title fight in South Philadelphia &endash; a fight she failed to make after the American Embassy in London turned down her application even though she had been training in America on and off for the past two years.

Marston’s American promoter, Philadelphia based Bionic Bull Promotions, are hoping that her visa situation can be resolved in time for her to be at their South Philadelphia show on the 26th September, but with time running out this fight also looks in doubt. Not being one to give up on her dream Marston decided to apply for her British professional license, hence the call to McKenzie, with a view to debuting in England.

Taking a well deserved break after some serious sparring the ‘Golden Girl’ spoke of her training and the impending debut, “Everyone here, and I do mean everyone, at Rooney’s Gym have gone out of their way to help me be ready. Terry (former Team GB head coach Terry Edwards MBE) has given so much of his time, he really is wonderful to work with. He really knows how to get the best out of me.

It’s not just Terry though, Darren (Light Welterweight Darren ‘Mr R&B’ Hamilton), has been teaching me some of his neat defensive stuff. and the ringwork that Ben (Welterweight Ben ‘The Entertainer’ Day) and Karl (Light Middleweight Karol ‘The Dr’ Ozimkowski) have given me is just awesome. Even the boss, John Rooney, has taken time out to work with me.

What can I say about Angel, she has been awesome. When I called her and asked if she would mind sparing with me for my British license trial she didn’t hesitate to agree.

Sparring with Angel has been a real positive experience. She really has helped me improve, I just hope that I have done the same for her. It’s great to work with someone who has been there, I mean she’s fought 18 or 20 times in the pro ranks. Up to now I’ve either been sparring with girls that have had limited professional experience or guys. Don’t get me wrong they have all been great but Angel is another level altogether.

Another thing I like about working with Angel is she takes the time to go through things after we have sparred, you know, like a debrief, it’s great.

I just hope I can get my visa situation sorted before the end of the month, I really don’t want to let Ivan and Donna (promoters Ivan & Donna Cohen – Bionic Bull Promotions) down a second time. They really have been so supportive and I really want to make their 26th September show. But if I don’t Ivan has said If I can’t get my visa through in time he’ll find a British promoter to work with and bring over some American fighters, including an opponent for me, and put on a UK event for me to debut at!”

All the time Marston spoke the ever likable Angel McKenzie, who was evicted from the Big Brother house last month only to reappear live on ITV4 just two weeks later on a Mick Henneseyfight card, just sat patiently smiling and giving the occasional nod of agreement, but when the time came for her to talk on her upcoming fight her eyes lit up and she burst into life and purred in her distinctive, hundred mile an hour, Russian accented English, “Yes, Yes it’s on the 18th September against Lyndsey Scragg. We are trying to make it a British title fight. Maybe it’s a bit too late, usually we need some months to tell the British Boxing control we have the fight, so it may just be a normal fight. We will have to wait and see.

It’s Lyndsey Scragg and she’s won a lot of fights, eight or nine fights and she won the whole time. We’re trying to get an independent referee because many times I got home town decisions against me and I don’t want any more.

I’m training a lot. I train three or four times per day and I’m doing a lot of sparring to get back to weight. Yeah I’m improving with my body and I’m running at night, unfortunately that’s the only time I can run now because when I run in the day people stop me saying they love me from Big Brother.

I’m pleased with my sparring here. It’s a different world sparring here with Marianne at Rooney’s Gym, In my gym most of the time I am fighting men, sparring with men. You can learn something, it’s really slow. But when you spar with girl, when you fight with girls it’s a different world. With sparring and punches, they don’t hold down the aggression. If you are sparring with a guy they say ‘I’m not gonna hit you, I’m not gonna hit you” then as soon as you hit them they hit you back and then say ‘oh sorry I didn’t mean to hurt you Angel’. Sparring with boys is good but sparring girl is much better. When I spar boys I am keeping it to 60Kg maximum. I can learn very much more, you know, with girls. We want more girls in the sport.

This country is the home of boxing and we need much more female boxers here. Germany is a very good scene and America is good. America and Germany is paying good money now. In this country it’s still like a hobby. I have learned the last seven years that they don’t take it serious. I think it will take many years before things change and then female boxing will become like female tennis and we’ll get good money.

But it’s still a lot of pressure, a few weeks ago I made history. I made the first boxing match live on TV in history. It was fun but I only had two weeks notice so was not my best. It was very short notice, but not a problem, I’m always ready to fight. I still believe that London will have some World Champions. In this country we do not give it much attention. It won’t change until we have a World Champion, then every one will say ‘Ah, we have a World Champions here. I’m trying to fight a World title, but I don’t think it will be here. I’ll have to go to Germany or France. Believe me it will be a different thing because in those countries they try and support the boxer.

In France they have three World Champions in different divisions and they do well, they have sponsorship. In France they try to keep female boxers in the country. Here we’ve just got eight professional female boxers. Just eight in this country. It’s very sad, they don’t help fighters to get fight. It’s hard to even get sparring partner here.

Ah, sparring. Marianne is very strong, that’s the most important thing in boxing. In my life I met a lot of girls who have come to my gym, but soon as a punch comes they see it’s painful, because female boxing as male boxing is can you hold a punch. If you can no problem then. Marianne, she can hold a punch. That’s the first thing, the second is in boxing it’s not how strong you are in the muscle, it’s how strong you are in the heart. It’s all about fitness. She got fitness. After we fight she’s not ‘Aha aha aha’ she breathe normal. She’s got a lot of power and a lot of heart. Boxing is about skills. It’s like you can’t start talk Japanese or other language. It’s the same about the language of your body. All the time I spend in the ring it’s like learning new words, new words. It’s all about learning. The other thing is movement. Boxing you need to move. When I see her I think yeah she’s a boxer. The more you spar the more you learn.

You need to keep believing in yourself. It’s all right if you are Frank Warren, yeah. But boxing is all about heart. Here they make you an underdog and have to fight above your weight. It’s hard but in female boxing if you fight here you will fight once a year. You will lose a dozen fighting above your weight. It’s different in America you fight female boxers in your weight.

People don’t forget September 18th when I fight Lyndsey Scragg, come and see Angel fight.”

If all goes according to plan both Marianne ‘Golden Girl’ Marston and Angel ‘The Artist’ McKenzie will both be in action next month. The ‘Golden Girl’ in the Bionic Bull Promotions event on the 26th September at a brand new venue on 23rd and Snyder in South Philadelphia. Whilst on the 18th September ‘The Artist’ will be facing Lyndsey Scragg at the Civic Centre in Wolverhampton.

For tickets and further details for the Bionic Bull Promotions event at South Philadelphia please contact:


Donna Cohen

ABBCorp, Inc. & Bionic Bull Enterprise

Tel: 215 755 8155



Terry Edwards MBE Coaching Marianne ‘Golden Girl’ Marston For September Fight.


Terry Edwards MBE Coaching Marianne ‘Golden Girl’ Marston For September Fight.

British Super Bantamweight Marianne ‘Golden Girl’ Marston’s American visa woes, which prevented her debuting on the undercard of Brian Cohen’s WBC Americas title fight in South Philadelphia in May, have been well documented over the past few months, however the plucky blonde hasn’t been sitting back and sulking instead she has been training for six hours a day at Rooney’s Boxing Gym in London.

Marianne’s clear ability and dedication hasn’t gone unnoticed by anyone that has visited Rooney’s Boxing Gym over the past few months, including Great Britain’s most successful coach of all time, Terry Edwards MBE, who offered to spend some time coaching her.

The timing of Terry’s offer couldn’t be better as just a few days earlier Marianne had been contacted by Ivan Cohen of ABB Corp inc/Bionic Bull Promotions, who promoted the May event that Marianne was due to debut at, to enquire if she would be able to make their South Philadelphia event on the 26th September.

During a break in her training schedule Marianne spoke of how this offer from Terry Edwards came about, “I was doing my normal workout when John (gym owner John Rooney Jnr) and Terry came into the gym. John introduced Terry to everyone and then they went out for coffee.

A little later I was sparring with Ben (Welterweight Ben Day), we were really going at it, we always do. Ben’s great to spar, he doesn’t treat me like a girl, you know, he doesn’t hold back. He’s slick and very hard to land a good shot on, a bit like Carl Froch style wise, you really have to work hard to get to him. We didn’t even notice that John and Terry had come back and were watching us.

After we finished Terry came over and said I had done really well as Ben is an awkward fighter to deal with. I couldn’t help thinking that was a huge compliment, then he blew me away by saying he’d like to come to the gym and work with me. To say I was excited at the prospect is an understatement, who wouldn’t be, Terry is the best coach in England.

I have enjoyed every single second of the time Terry and Dave (Dave Pocknell, Terry’s number two at Team GB) have spent working with me and am looking forward to the next session. They are so easy to work with and I always learn something new that improves my technique.

One of the things I really like about Terry and Dave is that they teach you the technical side of things as well. l believe this will really help me when I finally get to fight.

I’ve missed my training with Steve (former IBF Cruiserweight Champion Steve ‘USS’ Cunningham) and I’m missing all the guy’s at Shulers (The James Shuler Memorial Gym in West Philadelphia) but can’t complain too much when I get to work with one of the sports greatest coaches and get to train at a world class gym like Rooney’s every day.”

During their highly successful tenure as Team GB coaches Terry and Dave guided such luminaries as Audley Harrison, Amir Khan, James DeGale, David Price and Tony Jeffries to Olympic glory as well as securing a World Title for Frankie Gavin and a European Championship title for Luke Campbell. So just what do these two highly successful coaches think of their latest charge?

Terry Edwards, who is well known as someone that speaks his mind and doesn’t pull punches, said of Marianne, “I have been working with Marianne for the last four weeks and I think she’s made tremendous strides in that four weeks. I think she has a good style about her, she’s very gritty and determined. I think that potentially she could go all the way.”

Dave Pocknell then added, “I think her footwork is terrific, she has a powerful shot with the left hand, her movement is excellent and she really knows how to control the centre of the ring. I reckon she’s going to be a really good boxer.”

If all goes according to plan Marianne should finally be able to put all the new knowledge and technique that Terry and Dave have drilled her with into competitive action in South Philadelphia on the 26th September. Further details on this event are expected to be announced shortly.


Philadelphia Newspaper Lobby US Embassy Over Visa For British Boxer Marianne ‘Golden Girl’ Marston.

Philadelphia Newspaper Lobby US Embassy Over Visa For British Boxer Marianne ‘Golden Girl’ Marston.

British Super Bantamweight Marianne ‘Golden Girl’ Marston, who was refused a visa in order to compete on the under card of Brian Cohen’s WBC Americas Light Heavyweight title fight on the 9th May at South Philadelphia High School, has learned that her plight has not gone unnoticed in the City that has been her adopted home for the best part of two years.

Journalist and boxing columnist Kerry O’Connor, who writes for Philadelphia newspaper Center City Weekly Press and Examiner.com, heard of Marianne’s plight and decided that something pro-active should be done to correct the matter. His solution was to start a campaign of support by encouraging readers of his column to write directly to the American Embassy In London to lobby them to reconsider Marianne’s visa application.

O’Connor wrote in his Philadelphia Boxing column on Examiner.com on the 17th April “Earlier in the week, boxing fans said goodbye to the Golden Boy. Today, I’m reporting that we’re being denied the chance to say hello to the Golden Girl.

Marianne “Golden Girl” Marston, a Super Bantamweight boxer from London, England, was supposed to make her professional debut May 9th here at South Philadelphia High School.

However, after two years of playing by the rules, and filing proper paperwork with the American Embassy so she could come back and forth between Philly and London to train, the Embassy has denied her visa application.”

O’Connor then provides his readers with further information regarding Marianne and her plight before suggesting to his readers, “If you’d like to see Marianne get her visa, let the US Embassy know! Send an e.mail titled: “Let Marianne box” to Special Consular Services at SCSLondon@state.gov ”

The Wednesday 22nd April issue of the Weekly Press features a more in-depth article by O’Connor, including an interview with Steve ‘USS’ Cunningham, to generate as much interest as possible in the campaign. To read the front page article on-line go to www.weeklypress.com

So what has made O’Connor leap to support Marianne and campaign on her behalf? “I found the circumstances surrounding Marianne’s denial of a visa to be very unfair,” said O’Connor. “She’s always abided by the rules regarding her travels between the UK and the States in the past, so to say she might not return to London after the fight is ridiculous. She is just as deserving of a chance to box in the States as Ricky Hatton. Let her have her dream. Let her fight.”

On learning of Kerry O’Connor campaigning on her behalf a very grateful Marianne said, “When I got a call telling me of the support coming from Kerry through his column I was blown away, I was speechless, what a truly wonderful thing to do.

In some ways I’m not surprised though as everyone there is so nice. Philadelphia is a very special place filled with such wonderful people. When I made the decision to train full time in America I had two choices, Philly or Los Angeles. What swung me to choose Philly was the people, they made me feel at home from the very first day I visited there. I know I was right to do so as they care about others. Kerry proves that, we’ve never met or spoken yet he has done this for me. Wow, that is something else.

I can’t thank Kerry enough as I love Philly and can’t wait to get back…and fight.”

If, like Kerry O’Connor, you would like to help Marianne fulfill her dream to professionally fight in America please send an e.mail titled: “Let Marianne box” to Special Consular Services at SCSLondon@state.gov asking them to reconsider Marianne Marston’s visa application.

Or write to:

Richard LeBaron, Chargé d’Affaires ad interim

U.S. Embassy, London

24 Grosvenor Square

London, W1A 1AE

United Kingdom


Tel: Switchboard:

[44] (0)20 7499-9000




For tickets and further details for the ‘Brawl on Broad Street’ event on 9th May 2009 at South Philadelphia High School please contact:


Donna Cohen

ABBCorp, Inc. & Bionic Bull Enterprise

Tel: 215 755 8155

Britain’s ‘Golden Girl’ Knocked Out…By The American Embassy In London

Britain’s ‘Golden Girl’ Knocked Out…By The American Embassy In London


English Super Bantamweight boxer, Marianne ‘Golden Girl’ Marston, who is due to be on the under card of Brian Cohen’s WBC Americas Title Fight in South Philadelphia on 9th May, suffered a further setback in her professional boxing career when the American Embassy in London refused her visa application.

After regularly traveling back and forth to America to train for over two years, on the visa waiver system, with no problems as well as having contacted the London Consular by e.mail to verify which visa she should apply for, Marianne had expected her visa application to be a formality.

Marianne is expecting further repercussions from her failure to secure a visa, as her contract with sports clothing and equipment manufacturer, Pugilist Urban Garments, is reliant on her being in America as part of the promotion of their P.U.G. Athletic brand into the $50 Billion American Sporting goods market in 2009.

Both Marianne’s contracts with Team ‘USS’Cunningham, who represent and train her in America, and the May 9th event promoters, ABBCorp, Inc. and Bionic Bull Enterprises, are also on the basis of her securing the visa. Her not being able to make the 9th May fight is particularly worrying for Marianne as Donna Cohen, of ABBCorp, Inc. and Bionic Bull Enterprises, had made an offer of a twelve fight contract between May 2009 and Dec 2010.

Marianne, a protégé of legendary Heavyweight boxing champion of the World Smokin’ Joe Frazier and former IBF Cruiserweight World Champion, Steve ‘USS’ Cunningham, spoke of her feelings during her daily training session at Gleason’s Gym near Tower Bridge in London. “I can’t believe that they refused my visa again. I originally applied in March so I could return to Philadelphia to resume training with Steve (‘USS’ Cunningham) and Shar’ron (Baker) in preparation for my anticipated pro-debut.

The guy that interviewed me at the Embassy in March said he was refusing my application because I don’t have adequate socioeconomic ties with the UK, not much family here or a job, and as such doesn’t feel I would return here. He also said my boxing is just a “hobby”. I found that unbelievably insulting. I’m English born and bred, London is my home and always will be. It’s not my fault I only have two close family members still living and Boxing is my job, I can get plenty of fights in America. I am aware that the chances of getting many fights here in the UK is very slim as there just aren’t many female pro-fighters here.

As for my not returning to the UK, I have been going to America for the past couple of years to train, firstly at Joe’s (Smokin’ Joe Frazier) and then at Shuler’s (The James Shuler Memorial Gym) on the visa waiver system, I’ve never abused it, I always returned within the 90 days. If I was going to stay illegally surely I would have done it then, not after going to the trouble of applying for a visa.

Yes, I accept I’m an amateur by definition as I have yet to have my pro-debut fight, but I am a professional in reality. Boxing is my life and now it is the way I make a living. They don’t realise how hard I train. It’s not a hobby, I run between 3 and 17 miles in the morning, then spend between 4 and 5 hours in the afternoon training at the gym.

I reapplied for my visa after P.U.G. renewed my sponsorship and I had been e.mailed the contract to fight on May 9th. These were already being discussed, but had not been sorted, before my first application so I didn’t mention them. I supplied the contracts from P.U.G. and the promoter but the guy who interviewed me the second time said I have just changed my story and the refusal still stands. It makes me wonder if they don’t believe that a woman could make a career of being a professional boxer.

I’m flabbergasted, I have been waiting so long for my professional debut, I was supposed to debut last May but Frazier’s closed down and I was left without a gym, trainers or management. Then in August, as I was preparing for a fight in New Jersey, I burst my Achilles tendon. I was on the Casino Battle Royale card for January this year, I’d even made my appointment for a visa interview back then, but as the whole event got canceled I put the interview back to March so I could get back in time for Steve’s fight (Steve ‘USS’ Cunningham – Tomasz Adamek’s IBF Cruiserweight World Championship bout on December 11th ’08), now this happens. It feels like I’ll never actually get to fight.

I’m not going to give up though, I’m still training hard just in case we can get this sorted and I can get to fight. ”

Marianne’s professional debut was due to be on the under card of Philadelphia’s Brian Cohen WBC Americas Light Heavyweight title fight on May 9th 2009 at the South Philadelphia High School. Marianne’s bout would have been one of three female bouts on the ten fight card. Promoter Donna Cohen is a big supporter of Women’s boxing and every event she promotes includes at least one female match-up.



British Boxer Marianne Marston Strikes Gold With New Sponsorship Deal.


British Boxer Marianne Marston Strikes Gold With New Sponsorship Deal.


American trained English Super Bantamweight Marianne ‘Golden Girl’ Marston, along with various soon to be announced American championship boxers, will be spearheading London based sporting equipment and apparel manufacturer Pugilistic Urban Garments planned assault on the $50 Billion American sporting goods market in 2009 with their pugilistic arts flagship brand P.U.G. Athletic.

Marianne, a protégé of former Heavyweight Champion of the World, Smokin’ Joe Frazier and Cruiserweight World Champion Steve ‘USS’ Cunningham, was previously sponsored by P.U.G. Athletic prior to her moving her training base, from Gleason’s Gym (London) near Tower Bridge, to Philadelphia and Smokin’ Joe Frazier’s Gym, where she was under the personal tutelage of the legendary Heavyweight champ and his son Marvis, in February 2008.

Marianne’s American adventure soon became a roller coaster ride as shortly after committing herself to being with Smokin’ Joe Frazier, to prepare for her professional debut, the Philadelphia landmark gym closed down. Marianne’s dream looked at an end after just 58 days.

Not one to give up so easily Marianne tried out for Percy ‘Buster’ Custus at the “home of champions”, The James Shuler Memorial Gym, in West Philadelphia. Initially working with former Junior Middleweight World Champion Robert ‘Bam Bam’ Hines before switching her day to day training, due to her having difficulties understanding Robert’s strong accent which was causing frustrations between them, to the exceptional female trainer Shar’ron Baker.

Around the same time P.U.G. Athletic, who were concentrating on the European sporting goods market, decided not to renew their sponsorship arrangement as Marianne would be initially competing in America and as such could not see any benefit to their brand at that time.

Just as disaster loomed again for Marianne up steps Cruiserweight King Steve ‘USS’ Cunningham and his wife and manager Livvy who invited Marianne to be part of Team ‘USS’ Cunningham, opening up a whole new world of opportunities for her including sessions at training camp with Team ‘USS’ Cunningham’s world class coach Anthony Chase and advice from team leader Steve ‘USS’ Cunningham and “Trainer of the Year” contender Brother Nazeem Richardson in addition to day to day coaching from Shar’ron.

Marianne, who returned to England at the beginning of March in order to arrange the visa she requires for her professional debut at the 9th May ’09 Ivan Cohen promoted event in South Philadelphia, met with P.U.G. Athletic boss John Rooney Jnr. when she returned to Gleason’s Gym (London) for some training sessions and a new sponsorship deal was arranged in record time.

Taking a moment out from her grueling preparations a very pleased Marianne said “I’m so pleased to be working with John (Rooney) and P.U.G. Athletic again. John has always been a great supporter of boxing. He used to sponsor my hero, Joe Calzaghe, and supports other great champions like Ian Napa and Danny Williams.

It’s so exciting to be involved in their expansion plans, to say I am proud to be a P.U.G. fighter is an understatement. I’m a great believer in their products. Over the past year I have tried out loads of gloves and couldn’t find any that came close to my old ones. I kept having niggly hand injuries so I got a friend of mine to send me over a new pair of P.U.G.’s late last year and hey presto no more problems. They really do offer the best hand protection!

Whilst I’m enjoying being back in London and training at Gleason’s, I’m really looking forward to getting back to Philly so I can be fully prepared for my fight.

I’m missing everyone at Shulers terribly. I missed Tyson’s (Jamaal’s ‘Da Truth’ Davis) and Eddie’s (‘Fast’ Eddie Chambers) fights and missed even more not being there to celebrate their victories with them. I’m also going to miss Gee’s (Culmer) fight this Friday (3rd April).

Whilst not one of my gym mates, I’m desperately hoping I can get my visa through soon so I can be there to support fellow Brit Carl Froch, when he takes on Jermain Taylor on the 25th (April). If I do I’ll be ringside for sure, what a great way to prepare for my fight, watching awesome fighters at close quarters, who knows I might steal some of his moves and use them in my fight in May.”

Marianne professional debut will be on the undercard of Philadelphia’s Brian Cohen WBC Americas Light Heavyweight title fight on May 9th 2009 at the South Philadelphia High School. The co-feature will be headed by Gabrielle Rosadl. In addition to Brian, Gabrielle and Marianne there will be seven further fights on the night. The full card will be announced, by renowned Philadelphia promoter Ivan Cohen, shortly.


For tickets and further details for the event contact:

Ivan Cohen

Tel: 215 755 8155



Steve ‘USS’ Cunningham’s English ‘Golden Girl’ On May 9th Philly WBO Title Card.


Steve ‘USS’ Cunningham’s English ‘Golden Girl’ On May 9th Philly WBO Title Card.


In February ’08 legendary Heavyweight boxing champion of the world Smokin’ Joe Frazier simply said “She’s going to be the Champ.” and his son former Heavyweight contender Marvis said “Marianne is the hardest working (training), committed fighters I have seen in a long time. She’s very hard for any fighter to deal with. She’s strong, fast and accurate, has lots of combinations and punches hard, so hard it’s like being hit by a Heavyweight.”

In April ’08 Jnr. Middleweight world champion Robert ‘Bam Bam’ Hines said “Marianne’s an exciting fighter who’s got it all. One thing for sure she’s going to be the Champ…soon.”

Then in November ’08 IBF Cruiserweight Champion Steve ‘USS’ Cunningham was so impressed with her that he invited her to be part of his team.

Now after various well publicised false starts Philadelphia based English Bantamweight Marianne ‘Golden Girl’ Marston, who was originally brought to America by the legendary Heavyweight Champion of the World Smokin’ Joe Frazier in a blaze of publicity, will finally have her long awaited debut, virtually one whole year later than planned, on the undercard of Brian Cohen’s WBO Light Heavyweight title fight in South Philadelphia on the 9th May 2009.

In February ’08 Marianne took the huge step of traveling thousands of miles from her home in London, England to Philadelphia to train full time under the personal tutelage of Smokin’ Joe Frazier and his son Marvis at their North Philadelphia landmark gym after Frazier had advised her to spend six months training with him so he could get her fully prepared for her debut.

Just 58 days after making the commitment Smokin’ Joe Frazier’s gym closed. Shortly after Marianne moved her “home” gym to Percy ‘Buster’ Custus’ James Shuler Memorial Gym and continued to train for her professional debut which was to be the ill fated Casino Battle Royale event in Atlantic City.

Smokin’ Joe is not the only World Champion to be impressed by Marianne’s natural talent as not long after she moved gym Cruiserweight King Steve ‘USS’ Cunningham and his wife and manager Livvy, who are also based at the West Philadelphia gym, invited her to be part of their team.

After promoter Ivan Cohen confirmed on Wednesday that Marianne is to be on the card a very pleased Steve ‘USS’ Cunningham said of his protégé “What a great opportunity for Marianne. She has the heart, work ethic and determination of a true champion. This May she’ll be on her way, watch out for ‘Golden Girl’!”

Marianne, who is currently in London, will be returning to Philadelphia shortly to go into training camp with Team ‘USS’ Cunningham’s head coach Anthony Chase, spoke briefly on the news. “I’m so honoured that Ivan is to have me on the card of this important fight. I also must thank him as he has offered me sparring with two of his female fighters to help in my preparations. I can’t wait to get back to Philly to prepare with Chase, Steve and Shar’ron. They are great trainers, Shar’ron has been awesome, her techniques really suit my style and in the short amount of time I have had to work with Chase he took me to another level altogether. As for Steve, what can I say he is a great fighter and his advice has been unbelievable. My fighting style has changed thanks to them, I feel that I am a total fighter now. I’m ready to fight now and can’t wait until May.”

Marianne’s fight will be part of the Ivan Cohen promoted WBO Light Heavyweight title fight featuring Philadelphia’s Brian Cohen on May 9th 2009 at the South Philadelphia High School. The co-feature will headed by Gabrielle Rosadl. Also on the card will be Marianne’s regular sparring partner Christina Leadbeater from New Jersey. The full card is expected to be announced shortly




For tickets and further details for the event contact:


Ivan Cohen

Tel: 215 755 8155





English Featherweight Marianne Marston felt her ‘American dream’ was over after the sudden closure of Smokin’ Joe Frazier’s Gym at the end of March 2008, but just 10 days later, as she was seriously considering either returning to London or relocating to Los Angeles to train at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym, a friend suggested she try-out for Percy (Buster) Custus at The James Shuler Memorial Gym in West Philadelphia.

She did and was invited back the following day to meet former IBF Light Middleweight World Champion Robert ‘Bam Bam’ Hines with a view to him co-training Marianne along with Buster himself.

After just a day of working together Robert commented “Marianne’s good, she’s tough, skilled and packs plenty of power, you can see she’s had good trainers, they taught her to box. Now I’ll teach her the art of boxing and she’ll be unstopable”

It is clear that Marianne feels that she has not only found a new home in the James Shuler Memorial Gym but also World-Class coaches that can take her to new levels of fitness and heightened ring skills – as she says “I never thought I would say this as I really loved being trained by Joe & Marvis Frazier and Val Colbert at Smokin’ Joe Frazier’s Gym but them closing down may have done me a favour. If they hadn’t I wouldn’t have met Robert whose coaching is truly perfect for me. Not just his training techniques and conditioning regime, but his total commitment to both me and my boxing career. Like myself he’s a southpaw, so demonstrating techniques useful to me comes naturally to him.”

It looks like Marianne’s dream is right back on track as Robert has said she will be ready for her professional debut this summer as originally planned.




Early in February 2008 British Featherweight Marianne Marston left her London home and travelled to America to train full-time under the watchful eyes of the legendary Heavyweight World Champion Smokin’ Joe Frazier – who, on Marianne, says quite simply “She’s going to be the Champ” – and his son, Olympic Gold Medallist & Heavyweight contender, Marvis Frazier at their gym in Philadelphia.

Marvis backs up what his father says and adds “Marianne is the hardest working (training), committed fighters I have seen in a long time” then with a huge grin continues “She’s very hard for any fighter to deal with” before expanding this by saying “she’s strong, fast and accurate, has lots of combinations and punches hard, so hard it’s like being hit by a Heavyweight.”

Travelling backwards and forwards across timezones and thousands of miles has made it hard for Marianne to maintain a consistent regime and so after taking advice from her main coaches, Marvis Frazier and Val Colbert, she decided it was time to commit herself completely to boxing by moving to Philadelphia to spend six months full-time training at Fraziers Gym and plans to make her professional debut under their guidance.

When asked why she chose Frazier’s Gym over the other first class gyms she has trained at, Marianne smiled and said “For me it wasn’t a matter of choosing, Frazier’s Gym feels like ‘home’ and the training team here are without doubt some of the best in the business, if not the best” and after a short pause she added “just look around this place, it’s full of boxing history. This is the gym that Joe trained at when he become World Champion and when he beat Ali – it fires me up, makes me want to work as hard as he did, and hopefully that will lead to me being as successful in this sport as he was”