Marianne “Golden Girl” Marston could just as easily add the nickname “Tough Cookie” to her fight card.
Ten months ago an injury to her piriformis muscle appeared, leaving her with excruciating discomfort down the length of her spine and sciatic nerve.
But the reigning MBC International Super Bantamweight champion battled through the pain barrier – only hanging up her gloves for four weeks and is fighting fit to headline the female line-up at York Hall’s Lords Of The Ring II. It will be the first time she has fought this year.
The Woolwich mum said: “It’s been a tough few months getting over the injury and getting back into training.
“It’s always hard when you’ve had a break, especially if you rush back too quickly, which is what I did. It’s just nice to be able to walk upstairs without it hurting if I’m honest.
“I climb the walls if I’m not exercising but I’m really pleased to be moving, mobile and fighting again. I love York Hall – it’s the home of British Boxing.
“It’s the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Madison Square Gardens in New York, The Blue Horizon in Philadelphia and York Hall in London. These are the special places for any fighter.”
The 42-year-old’s passion for the sport was sparked 10 years ago and she started fighting competitively in 2011. The East End clash on Saturday will see her boxing alongside unbeaten lightweight Sam Smith.
Fellow Londoner, Shaunagh Brown, will also make her professional debut.
“Boxing’s like an infection, it gets into you and doesn’t let you go,” said Marianne.
“I’m quite an aggressive fighter and I like to take the fight to people – offence is the best form of defence. But it seems most women are scared to fight me.
“Some have got higher rankings and more points than me so they maybe shouldn’t be scared.”
Event promoters Mark Lyons and Billy James-Elliot said they were shining the spotlight on female fighters and hoped it would provide momentum for the sport. Marianne said while it was important to bring more women into the ring, equally significant was to make sure there was then a career path for them to follow in the sport.
“The Olympics has done something too,” she said. If nothing else, it has opened people’s eyes to the inequalities in boxing so hopefully that will force a change. That’s important.”
Seated tickets for Lord Of The Rings II start at £35.