Mitchell’s Plain boxer comes out of retirement to honour father

Marlin Marshall, right, will step into the ring after a 17-year absence, for one last fight, in support of his father, Eddie “Rocky” Marshall, who is battling cancer. Picture: Lonwabo Marele

After 17 years out of the sport, Marlin Marshall is lacing up his gloves once again for a cause close to home.

On Saturday November 25, Marshall will take part in Phenomenal Boxing Promotion’s exhibition fights, taking place at Vibrant Sports in Ottery.

The Marshall Boxing Experience club’s trainer, known for standing in the corner for some of Mitchell’s Plain’s most promising boxers, stepped down from boxing after a leg injury he sustained almost two decades ago.

Now, making a return under his father’s alias name “Rocky Marshall” his cause is to fight one last bout in support of his father and mentor, Eddie Marshall, who is fighting a battle with cancer.

Eddie Marshall is a renowned boxing ring referee and administrator that shares the same birthday with his long-time friend, the late world heavyweight champion, Muhammad Ali (“Boxing runs in the family, says ref”, Plainsman, January 25).

Eddie has travelled the world, met some incredible champions, including Evander Holyfield and Claressa Shields. He has worked with some of the most prestigious boxing organisations in the world, including the World Boxing Council (WBC), the World Boxing Federation (WBF), International Boxing Federation (IBF) and the World Boxing Organization (WBO).

Marlin said his father’s true passion lies in giving back to the sport that has been his lifeblood, by nurturing young boxers from previously disadvantaged communities.

“This fight is to show appreciation to my dad. He is very sick. It is to show him that we will never forget. This is my first fight after 17 years. It is an exhibition fight with a title. I will be fighting to honour my dad,” said Marlin.

His older brother and international boxing official, Elroy Marshall, said: “It is these types of events we need to inspire the next generation. It takes a lot for anybody to step into the ring. Stepping into the ring, irrespective of the results, is a great representation,” said Elroy.

The Marshall’s garage gym, tucked away in Portland, has seen many talented boxers emerge over the years, including Mitchell’s Plain’s promising boxers, Branton Charles Booysen and Luther Cloete.

Organiser of the tournament, Farhaaz Sayed said there are more than 10 bouts scheduled for the afternoon, three of which are exhibition title fights.

Female exhibition champion, Saarah Karriem will make a defence of the belt she won at Phenomenal Boxing’s previous event.

There is a heavyweight title bout on the line and a middleweight title bout.

Sayed said not only is he bringing Marlin Marshall out of retirement, but he is also bringing out well known boxing judge Oscar Noels out of retirement.

Noels, who will battle it our against Enver Sait, said he is giving it one more fight for the good ol’ days.

“I want to feel like myself again. I started hitting the gym and when I heard of the fight I was like ‘why not’,” said Noels.