Edwards vs Moreno: Shannon Courtenay vows to make explosive impact on professional debut
Last Updated: 01/03/19 11:13am
Shannon Courtenay tells Sky Sports about a secretive start to amateur boxing, teaming up with Adam Booth, and making an explosive impact as a professional.
The Watford bantamweight is preparing for her pro debut on the undercard as Charlie Edwards makes the first defence of his WBC flyweight belt against Angel Moreno at the Copper Box Arena on March 23, live on Sky Sports.
Courtenay is part of a bumper bill that includes Joshua Buatsi and Lawrence Okolie, so we asked 'The Baby Face Assassin' to offer insight into her background to boxing.
Why did you decide to begin boxing?
I was boxing just to lose weight, doing Boxercise, and then I fell in love with the sport. Just the individuality of it, how you have to rely on yourself. When you get in the ring and the bell goes, you're on your own.
I'm quite independent, and it's such a hard sport, people don't know how hard it is, and you want to prove them wrong. I'm just the most determined person you'll ever meet.
First impressions of the sport?
When I went to a proper boxing club, I was like 'Wow, how do people do this every day?' The first time I got punched, I actually enjoyed it, even a little bit too much. I didn't care about being punched as long as I could hit you back harder.
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I had the wrong mentality at first, but obviously now that's gone, and it's a profession now, and I know there's a technique, there's a skill to it. It's an art.
How do you look back on your first amateur bout?
It was like a dingy bar above a pub, and I didn't tell a single soul that I was fighting. Nobody knew. I locked my car keys in the boot of my car when I was nervous. I called my Mum and said: "You've got to come now, because I'm fighting tonight!"
It was almost a relief that I had finally fallen in love with something that was good for me.
I won, I kept on winning, and I got a taste of it. I had finally found somewhere I fitted in. I was surrounded by the wrong people, and I was up to no good. It was almost a relief that I had finally fallen in love with something that was good for me.
Why did you decide to turn professional?
Now is the perfect time to turn pro, 100 per cent. Look at Katie Taylor, you've got Claressa Shields and Christina Hammer fighting soon.
I have a pro style and at the time, my weight category wasn't in the Olympics. I'm going to be a pro at bantamweight, but as an amateur, I was a featherweight.
Any potential rivals in your weight class?
Kristen Fraser won a Commonwealth title, she's 6-0. I've not even had my debut, so I'm not sitting here, saying I'm calling anyone out, that would just be disrespectful. But in the future, that would be a good fight.
I have got my eyes on her already and I have had a little look.
What is it like working with trainer Adam Booth?
Genius. He's a really, really good guy. He will teach you everything you need to know inside the ring, but will also train you about life outside the ring, and give you valuable lessons.
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Success breeds success, so when you're surrounded by the likes of Josh Kelly, Ryan Burnett and Michael Conlan, you can only learn from them. I sit there and study things that they do. It's amazing.
Who inspires you?
My inspiration is my Mum, if I'm honest. She's an amazing woman, she raised me on her own. If I can be half the woman she is, then I'll be very happy.
How far can you go?
World champion. If you enter this sport, without wanting to be world champion, get out because you're in it for the wrong reasons really. But I'm not going to put pressure on myself and say: "I'm going to be a world champion within three years."
I don't want to be fast-tracked, because I know I have a lot to learn. I haven't got that Olympic background, I am a work in progress. I will give it everything I can to make sure I do become world champion.
What kind of boxing style can people expect from you?
All-action, aggressive, but with slick movement as well. I'm a pressure fighter and I'm very exciting to watch.
Watch Jordan Gill against Emmanuel Dominguez, with Richard Riakporhe vs Tommy McCarthy and Anthony Sims Jr also on JD NXTGEN bill in Peterborough on Saturday, from 7pm on Sky Sports Action.