Shannon Courtenay says she is ready to justify her hype when she takes on Rachel Ball over eight rounds in a Super-Bantamweight contest at Matchroom Fight Camp this Friday August 14 in Brentwood, Essex, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.
‘The Baby Face Assassin’ turned heads with five wins on the bounce in her first year as a professional, fighting across London at the Copper Box Arena, York Hall and The O2 in Greenwich, now the hugely-popular 27-year-old takes a leap up in class to face Ball in her toughest assignment to date.
Ball, the only woman to win the BBBofC Midlands Area Fight of the Year Award, proved she can mix it with world level fighters when she pushed current Interim WBC Super-Featherweight World Champion Katherina Thanderz all the way in a close points loss at short notice last year. Courtenay is relishing the challenge.
“This is going to be a fight where you can actually see what I’m about,” said Courtenay. “Some people think that she might win, so I feel like I’m going to prove a lot of people wrong and I’m looking forward to making a statement. I perform well under pressure. When you put me in sparring with better girls, I perform better. You’ll see that on fight night.
“I’m going to shock a lot of people. Nothing worth having comes easy and I’ve worked so hard. I think every fight was a learning curve. Every fighter that I’ve come across was very different. I’ve learnt with every fight. It has been a bit of an apprenticeship for me. Now is the right time for me to step up, have a tough fight and show people what I’m all about.
“I’m working even harder to prove that I deserve to be here. Some people might say ‘she never went to the Olympics’ or question why I’ve been given such a big platform by Matchroom and Sky Sports, but on August 14th I’ll show why I’m on this platform by making a big statement.”
Three-time kickboxing World Champion Ball has been in a fiery mood since arriving at the official fighter hotel on Monday, questioning how the untested Courtenay will cope when she has a live opponent with ‘monstrous’ height in front of her. Watford’s Courtenay has warned Ball that she would be a fool to underestimate her punch power.
“This was the first fight that was offered to me for Fight Camp and there was no hesitation in taking it from me. I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t know a great lot about Rachel. I know that from the day I had my debut, she was Tweeting about me non-stop. I’ve been living in her head rent free for at least a year now, so that’s fine by me.
“I had a little watch of her afterwards. She’s tall, but there’s nothing that worries me about her. I’m confident going into this fight. I think I’ll be too strong. She’s around a foot taller than me. She might think someone this small might not be able to hurt her. Let me assure you, I carry power and she will feel it, 100%.
“I think people are intrigued because they’ve not seen enough of me yet. There’s this big following and social media presence. Do I deserve it because I haven’t boxed anyone of a big name yet or big status? There’s people that will question if I deserve this platform or deserve this hype. On August 14th I’ll prove that I do.”
Courtenay vs. Ball lands on Week 3 of Matchroom Fight Camp, Felix Cash (12-0, 8 KOs) puts his Commonwealth Middleweight Title on the line for the second time against former World Title challenger Jason Welborn (24-8, 7 KOs) at the top of the bill, recent Matchroom signing Zelfa Barrett (23-1, 14 KOs) meets Ireland’s undefeated Eric Donovan (12-0, 7 KOs) for the IBF Intercontinental Super-Featherweight Title, Northampton Super-Welterweight Kieron Conway (14-1-1, 3 KOs) takes on Rotherham’s Navid Mansouri (20-3-2, 6 KOs) for the WBA Intercontinental Title and hard-hitting Super-Middleweight menace John Docherty (8-0, 6 KOs) takes on the tough and durable Anthony Fox (8-12-4).