Watch Shannon Ryan fight Bucha El Quassi on the live stream that will run from 5pm up until the start of the TV coverage on Sky Sports at 7.30pm; Claressa Shields and Savannah Marshall headline the night in their undisputed world middleweight title fight at The O2 in London.
Wednesday 12 October 2022 18:08, UK
For more reasons than one Shannon Ryan never quite imagined she would be helping to make history on the undercard of Claressa Shields and Savannah Marshall's main event fight at The O2 this Saturday.
Ryan's sporting roots originally lie with kickboxing for one, while she previously worked full-time as an assistant manager in The O2 phone store. How things have changed.
What's more, she admits she did not expect said 'history' to arrive as early as 2022 as women's boxing continues its ascent in quality, potential, stature, all of the above.
"I didn't think an all-female card would happen in the UK for a while, the fact it is on my third fight, to be a part of it is incredible and it makes me smile," Ryan told Sky Sports.
"Although I started boxing in 2018, women's boxing was not where it is now so to see such a turnaround is amazing."
Ryan is scheduled to face Spain's Bucha El Quassi in what will mark the British super-flyweight's third professional bout following points victories over Claudia Ferenczi and Gemma Ruegg earlier this year.
Her boxing career now stands to be an unrivalled focus having been able to step away from her job at O2 in April, granting her the necessary rest and recovery time needed at the pro level. She jokes, though, that even now she is doing more than she could have ever imagined.
"I didn't realise, I'm so busy now and I didn't think I would be, I thought I'd have a lot more time. The fact my journey there was five years, I'm now partnered with O2, to fight at the O2 on my third fight is magnificent," she added.
The freedom to dedicate her time to boxing has welcomed a clearer and seemingly-more sustainable day-to-day routine in contrast to a life of juggling retail in Watford with her exploits in the ring.
"Depending on what weekend I needed off, sometimes I'd work 11 days in a row," she explained. "Because I was assistant manager I would get into the shop at 8.30am and wouldn't leave until 6.15pm.
"I would go to the toilet then get changed, drive to the gym to get there at 7pm, box until about 8.30/9pm, get home and shower, eat if I had time and then go to bed and do the same thing the next day.
"This is less hectic, more time to rest and recover."
Ryan was dealt an added obstacle in preparation for the fight when the original September 10 show was postponed until the new date of October 15 in light of the death of the Queen.
She recalled it taking around two weeks for her to mentally check back in after granting herself an initial recharge.
"I think for me myself so early on in my career, it was alright to kind of take that on, it was a challenge but the weight I do right now it's not too much that I have to get off. So in that aspect, I felt alright and get to do it all over again.
"I kind of took it as that if an opponent pulls out, it's a lot harder because you've got to wait for another show whereas this one was a collective and we're all back on the same show five weeks later. For me it was alright, I get to do it all over again and it just took me a little while to mentally prepare, but I got that back in a short amount of time.
"I took a week off eating what I wanted to and needed to, I took about four days off from the gym and then got back in the gym."
Upon turning to boxing the 25-year-old won the 2018 Alliance Boxing Champion before going on to claim the 2019 Women's Winter Box Cup and win silver at the 2020 London Championships.
She now has her eyes set on reaching the heights of Shields and Marshall as their long-term rivalry comes to fruition in what beckons as a landmark occasion for boxing.
"At the end of the day all eyes are on them, they're making such an impact on the night and for the future so that's definitely something I want to be part of," said Ryan.
Watch Shannon Ryan fight Bucha El Quassi on the live stream that will run from 5pm up until the start of the TV coverage on Sky Sports at 7.30pm.