Australian Shannon O’Connell steps up in weight and class to contest the WBA Woman’s Featherweight World title May 8 at the KBS Sports World complex in Seoul, South Korea.
If O’Connell is successful in her attempt to travel overseas a beat the incumbent World Champion, she will join an illustrious list of Australian fighters such as Kostya Tszyu, Lionel Rose, Daniel Geale, Jimmy Carruthers and Jeff Harding.
O’Connell who had a decorated armature career including winning State and National Championships, Arafura and Oceania games Gold medals and was rated World #2 ranked female boxer. Shannon turned pro and like many other fighters had a World title shot in her dreams. Little did she know, the World title shot would arrive on her 9th professional fight. “This fight was a bit on again off again after the Interim WBA Champion lodged a protest however I stayed in the gym and stayed focused and have stepped up my training and I feel ready.“ stated O’Connell. “I want to thank my managers, my trainer my sponsors and all the fight fans that got behind me.” O’Connell continued, “this will be huge for Australian boxing and for Woman’s boxing in the country if I can bring home the WBA World title.”
We asked O’Connell’s manager Brendan Bourke why such a sudden step up to World class level and he replied with the following, “Shannon 100% believes she’s ready for the ultimate test, she has a great trainer in former IBF World Champion Philip Holiday and she’s been training the house down. She’s had 45 fights as an amateur and fought overseas quite a bit. We’ve had a good look at Choi and we think Shannon will give this a red hot go.”
Standing in O’Connell’s way is the champion Choi who is undefeated and has defended her WBA World title 5 times. Shannon’s trainer Philip Holiday had the following to say, “Shannon’s managers Brendan Bourke and Matt Clark went looking for a big fight for Shannon after the WBC title shot fell over and it took them only a few weeks to secure the WBA title shot in Korea.” When asked if Shannon is ready for such a step up in only her 9th pro fight Holiday was very vocal in his reply, “you better believe she’s ready, we took a good look at Choi and we see a strong champion with nice straight punches however we also see some things we intend to exploit come fight night. We are very confident and we are coming to win the title.”