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World Boxing Federation People: Eddie Marshall
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FEATURE   Photo: World Boxing Federation (WBF) Executive Committee-Member Eddie Marshall from South Africa.

As is the case with any organization, effective and professional team-work behind the scenes is necessary to make the World Boxing Federation (WBF) run as smoothly as possible. Thankfully, the WBF has been able to attract a line-up of very astute boxing personalities to make sure of this.

Most people will agree that boxing should mainly be about the boxers. They deserve the spotlight and the accolades more than anyone, but it is still a fact that the sport needs qualified and capable people working behind the scenes to make things happen.

In the WBF People feature-series, we try to shed some light on the men and women who makes the World Boxing Federation what it is. In the first installment of 2018, the man of the moment is WBF Executive Committee-member, and world renowned referee and judge, Eddie Marshall.


Boxing is in his blood! Often that statement is considered a cliche, and rightly so, but in the case of South African Edward Marshall, born on January 17 1955 in Cape Town, it is never the less a very accurate statement.

His father, Ernest Marshall, was a South African national amateur champion, as was his uncle, Martin Marshall. Two of Eddie´s three brothers boxed, and both Rodney and Natheer Marshall went on to win South African national championships.

To top everything off, he shares a birthday with the most iconic boxer of all time, Muhammad Ali. And, to someone who has “boxing in his blood”, this is not irrelevant!

Eddie´s mother didn't box, though. She was a hard-working factory employee, but with so many boxers around her she was almost forced to be supportive when Eddie also decided to lace up the gloves and start a career in “the sweet science”.

And, with quite a few big shoes to fill, young Edward didn't let himself or his family down. He went on to fight 297 times, losing only thirteen bouts, won the South African national championships at both Bantamweight and Featherweight, and represented his country in various tournaments.

Trained by his father and known in the ring as “Rocky” Marshall, Eddie was unquestionably good enough to turn professional. A boxer hardly compile a 284-13 record by being just another run-of-the mill participant, but he never had the intention to punch for pay.

So, when his active career was over, he instead went into refereeing and judging in the unpaid ranks, and served as a treasurer for the Amateur Boxing Board for twelve years.

But eventually the professional side of the sport would get a hold of him anyway, as his good work in the amateurs had been noticed and he was persuaded by the local governing body in South Africa to become a pro referee and judge.

British hero Ricky Hatton, and South African legend “Baby” Jake Matlala, are just a couple of the big names Eddie has since been involved with, officiating in hundreds of championship fights across the globe, from England, Italy and Germany to China, Australia and Egypt, just to mention a few of the locations.

Marshall´s massive experience and knowledge is currently benefiting the World Boxing Federation (WBF) greatly. His work in the WBF Executive Committee is invaluable, and he always does a magnificent job when officiating WBF title fights.

It is, and has always been, a great honor to represent the World Boxing Federation”, says Eddie from his home in Cape Town. “Howard Goldberg, the WBF President, approached me to join at one point, and its just been a pleasure.”

I have worked with other sanctioning bodies, such as the WBA, WBO, IBO and WBU, but have since taken a stance to not accept any assignments from other organizations. I have turned down quite a few such assignments, staying loyal to the WBF.”

It probably wont come as much of a surprise to anyone that boxing continues to be a major part of the Marshall family.

Two of Eddies three sons also boxed, and his 18-year-old grandson, Logan, has won seventeen of nineteen amateur bouts to date, and inherited the “Rocky Marshall” moniker from his grandfather.

Unfortunately my boys didn't go very far as boxers, as they both have knee-injuries that curtailed their training. But my youngest son, Marlin, is now the coach of the Portland's Boxing Club and doing extremely well at that, and my second eldest son, Elroy, is a WBF official as well.”

Boxing has provided Eddie with many great memories, and he treasures them all. Meeting his idol, and birth-day-buddy, Muhammad Ali, and other legends such as Evander Holyfield and Don King, as well as spending time with three-time world champion Jeff Fenech at his home in Sydney, Australia, are among them.

I would like to dedicate my success as and official to Howard Goldberg, as he is the reason I have achieved and experienced what I have. He believed in me, and gave me the opportunity to travel the world, which I am very grateful for,” explains the 2013 WBF Referee of the Year.

Marshall is very passionate about the WBF, and boxing in general. The fact that the WBF is focused on advancing the sport, and giving opportunities to boxers in South Africa, among other places, makes him even more passionate.

The World Boxing Federation is a very progressive organization, with a very energetic president in Howard. I am concerned about the state of boxing in South Africa, so I am grateful for the efforts of the WBF here to help our sport.”

Married to Desiree, whom he says is very patient and supportive when boxing takes him away from home on a regular basis, Eddie is currently a pensioner after retiring from his job as a procurement manager at Romano Signs in Cape Town.

While it could appear that there is no room for much else besides boxing in his life, that is not the case. Marshall is also a musician, and plays the tenor saxophone. In fact, he is so well thought-of in that field that he is often hired as a judge for various talent shows.

Besides that, he also makes an effort to do different kinds of community work. Eddie has no immediate plans of retiring from his work in professional boxing, and the World Boxing Federation is more than happy that this is the case.

As proud as he is to be part of the World Boxing Federation family, the WBF is equally proud, and grateful, to have him as a member.

  WBF People: Diana Spasova
  WBF People: Howard Goldberg
  WBF People: Ernst Salzgeber
  WBF People: Patrick Leonard
  WBF People: Sergio Sotelo
  WBF People: Torben Seemann Hansen

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