THE ring in which Savannah Marshall had just become undisputed world super-middleweight champion was still being dismantled in the main hall of Manchester's AO Arena, and yet tucked away in a side-room a slanging match was in full flow as talk immediately turned to what comes next for Hartlepool's finest.

"I'll smoke you," screamed long-time rival Claressa Shelds after bursting into the press conference that followed Marshall's majority decision win over American champion Franchon Crews-Dezurn.

"You couldn't smoke 20 Lamberts, now sit down," responded Marshall with a smile.

We've been here before. And if a rematch appeared a possibility at the start of the week then it felt like a certainty come the early hours of Sunday morning.

Ever since they clashed in the amateurs, Marshall and Shields have been the fiercest of rivals, and while the latter impressively came out on top when the pair met at middleweight last October, there's undoubted clamour for them to meet once more.

Marshall told Shields she'd have to move up to 168. In response, Shields told Marshall she'd have to travel to America.

"You're delusional if you think I'm coming to Detroit," said Savannah, "where are we going to fight, a leisure centre?"

The truth is - and Shields, says promoter Ben Shalom, knows this - nowhere does female boxing like the UK. If the fight does happen, it'll be on these shores. And maybe, just maybe, in the North-East.

"We wanted to do the first one in the North-East," said Shalom.

"It became such a big night and such a big international event it ended up being in the O2 in London.

"We'd love to make it happen. St James' Park was where we wanted the first fight. Let's see. The main thing is we want it in the UK. That's where it will be the biggest event for both fighters. Let's wait and see."

Shalom was asked what will ultimately prove to be the deciding factor in whether the fight can be staged at the home of Newcastle United.

"The same thing that always decides," said Shalom. In short, money.

Marshall is a money-spinner. Saturday's clash was initially meant to be chief support for Liam Smith and Chris Eubank Jnr but when that fight fell through, Shalom had no doubts about shifting Savannah to the top of the bill.

"I'd love the (Shields) rematch to be at St James' Park," said Marshall.

"They're really backing female sport at the minute and it's like a home city to me. There are different options for me at super-middleweight."

The Northern Echo: Savannah Marshall becomes undisputed world super-middleweight champion

All this rematch talk would have disappeared had Marshall not got the job done on Saturday night. She admitted as much herself, saying retirement might well have been on the cards had she lost to Crews-Dezurn.

That didn't mean it was ever going to be a stroll in the park. The champion headed for the UK determined to do all possible to keep hold of the belts and more than played her part in the build-up and on the night.

A fighter with the confidence of Crews-Dezurn - who performed the American national anthem in the ring before the first bell - was never going to let the occasion get to her. Willed on by Shields ringside, she made life uncomfortable for Marshall, making the most of her strength and physicality and trying to get up-close.

A fair few of the 10 rounds could have gone either way but Marshall picked out the better and the cleaner shots throughout, as recognised by two of the judges who scored it 97-93 and 99-92 in Marshall's favour. The other judge scored it a draw.

"It feels absolutely amazing," said Marshall.

"I came up short in October, it was the worst feeling in the world but I stuck with it, believed in my dreams and here I am.

"Franchon is tough, her head is like a brick! She's some woman and I knew she'd make it physical but I'm glad I came through and here I am."

After two gruelling fights, it would be understandable if Marshall opted for an 'easier' defence before taking on the Shields rematch. That, though, doesn't interest her.

"I'm 32, there's nobody else about in the division, it's the biggest fight out there," she said.

"I'm a lot bigger at super-middleweight and a lot stronger. There's definitely things I'd change from the first fight with Claressa, I believe it was the best Claressa ever. I want a second stab at her."

What will now undoubtedly follow is plenty of haggling and back-and-forth but promoter Shalom is "extremely confident" he can make the rematch.

"Savannah is one of the true success stories in the sport, in and out of the ring," he said.

"To connect with the fans the way she does and have that support is special. I believe that's the best night of her career - so far. There's more to come."