One of the fights with the best chance of being among the best fights of the year was the explosive Shannon Courtenay vs Ebanie Bridges, on April 10th, where both fought a great battle. The public’s interest was aroused since the press conference and the weigh-in ceremony.
In a close decision, the “Baby-Faced Assassin” Courtenay was crowned the new World Boxing Association 118 lbs. world champion. Not much was known about both fighters, so the WBA press team talked to her to get to know her a little better and to know her feelings after the tremendous battle between the ropes at the Cooper Box Arena at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, United Kingdom.
After the controversial weigh-in which you disagreed with, how did you feel towards Bridges after the intense confrontation that took place?
I had no feelings or emotions towards her, I was just focused on the fight. I didn’t care about the circus surrounding it, I was focused only on winning the WBA world title.
Did you expect the fight to happen that way?
She was tougher than I thought, but I told my team all the time that I would go all the way because I knew I was very tough, I knew my boxing skills would make me win the fight and I did.
In some interview we have read you immersed in boxing in order to lose weight and quit smoking. What led you to smoke tobacco and get away from the sport?
I ended up hanging around with the wrong people and started misbehaving and not doing anything good. I thank God every day that I found boxing and changed my life..
You played soccer for a while and also got into dancing. Why do you think you thrived in boxing and not in other sports?
I played soccer at a very high level, but I lost interest when I started smoking and drinking. When I discovered boxing it was like finding my purpose in life. I feel I do better in an individual sport than in team sports. The pressure is on me, so I have to perform, I don’t depend on my teammates.
What did you find in boxing that you didn’t have before?
Discipline! Boxing is a way of life, it’s not just a sport and I love the strict side of training that keeps me out of trouble and in high spirits.
How did your change of life and habits affected you?
I stopped smoking, drinking, eating badly, seeing old friends that I knew were a bad influence on me. I just changed everything around me, which led me to good choices and healthy habits.
You wanted to go to the Olympics but decided to put that plan aside. Today, from a distance, are you happy with your decision?
Yes, very happy. I knew my style was more suitable for the professional boxing than the amateur and I knew it was unlikely that I would go to the Olympics, so I bet on professionalism and the decision paid off because now I am a world champion.
What are your plans for the future? What are your biggest dreams?
My biggest dream is to be undisputed, I want all the belts!
How do you see female boxing today?
Women boxing is growing fast. It’s amazing to be part of it! I would love to see women fights go to 3 minute rounds and I think this would benefit my fighting style a lot.
What other do you do in you free time?
Besides boxing, I love music, fashion cooking and spending time with my family and friends.
What does being WBA champion mean to you?
The WBA is a fantastic association and I love what they do for women’s boxing so much that I’m proud to be associated with it! Already President Gilberto Mendoza has given me a warm welcome to the WBA family and sent me a beautiful letter of congratulations. I have every intention to be a great world champion for a long time and to put the WBA on a high level. Being WBA world champion is a dream come true, it is such an honorable and prestigious world title that I feel truly blessed and proud to have my name in the history books of the WBA.