HARTLEPOOL's Savannah Marshall has moved into MMA as she continues to pursue a much sought-after Claressa Shields rematch - but the immediate priority for the undisputed super-middleweight champion is to recover from recent hand surgery.

Marshall has joined her long-time rival Shields by signing a multi-year deal with the Professional Fighters League but her switch to mixed martial arts doesn't mark the end of her boxing career. Instead, the 32-year-old plans to compete in both sports.

At this stage, Marshall's next step is unclear. Having beaten Franchon Crews-Dezurn to scoop all the belts at super-middleweight in July, the Hartlepudlian has a mandatory opponent in big-hitting American Shadasia Green.

Despite her switch to MMA, Marshall has no intention of giving up her boxing belts, but she's currently recovering from hand surgery that fixed a problem suffered in her last outing.

"It feels amazing just to have all the belts. They're all beautiful, especially the WBC, that's a gorgeous belt," Marshall told Sky Sports.

"[Green] has got the backing of Jake Paul [as her promoter]. She's American, she's a puncher, she's a big, big hitter so built up properly it would be a massive fight.

"You've seen with Claressa, Sky and Boxxer built it up properly and it was just a massive showdown.

"I've had a bit of a hand injury from my last fight so that puts me out for a couple of months anyway. Everything's still up in the air with mandatories and things like that so I'm not 100% sure (what her next fight will be)."

What Marshall is sure about is the fact she wants to take on Shields again at some stage - which she admits was part of the thinking behind the move into MMA.

Marshall suffered her only professional defeat against Shields last year, with a rematch having felt inevitable after a brilliant fight. But Marshall now admits her second crack at Shields might have to come in MMA rather than the boxing ring.

"It doesn't look like a rematch in the ring is coming off, so I've had to chase her into another sport," she said.

She told ESPN: "I'm under no illusion that's probably one of the main reasons why they wanted to sign me.

"And that is something that I'm looking forward to in the future and I'm not sure about the men but I know there's definitely not two other women that boxed in the ring and fought in the SmartCage.

"So I think it would be massive, and like I said, our rivalry still lives on.

"There's no one really out there who I want to punch in the face more than Claressa. Or kick in the face."

Marshall is excited about the prospect of a new challenge.

She said: "I've boxed for 20-plus years, after doing the same combinations, the same routine. I'm excited to learn something different. I'm excited to start kicking, I'm excited to start grappling, wrestling, that sort of thing. I'm basically starting from scratch.

"It's changing it up. I did the same thing for a long, long time. I might take to it, or it could be a total disaster! So we'll have to see."

Green, mandatory challenger for Marshall's WBC boxing title, will be monitoring developments closely.

She said earlier this month: "I feel like that's going to be one of the biggest women's boxing fights in the world just because of what we both bring to the table as far as power, skill and technique and it being a super-middleweight undisputed world championship. Also I would be delighted to come to the UK.

"The UK is a great base for women's boxing. They highlight, they love women's boxing and it would only be befitting if I came over to her hometown where she sells a lot."