Shannon Courtenay was set to return to action in a Feb. 13 tune-up bout on DAZN, but has instead decided to scrap that and go straight into an Apr. 10 rematch with Rachel Ball on the Benn-Vargas card, which was also already scheduled and also will stream on DAZN.
Courtenay (6-1, 3 KO) lost a decision to Ball (7-1, 0 KO) last August on a Matchroom Fight Camp show. It was a really good fight, very entertaining, and saw Courtenay prove her desire after coming off the canvas in the opening round.
The 27-year-old Courtenay had also missed weight for that fight, though, which was meant to be at junior featherweight, and kept being promoted as such with no official mention made that she hadn’t even made the featherweight limit. Her immediate response to the defeat was a bit worrisome to some, as she seemed more concerned with arguing that she had been robbed, which was a tough sell given she was the A-side and has been an obvious Matchroom favorite since turning pro.
But Courtenay showed a lot of positive signs in her last outing on Dec. 4. She moved down to bantamweight, came in just under the 118-pound limit, and was very sharp and aggressive in a seventh round stoppage win over Dorota Norek. And after the fight, she sounded fully re-committed to her craft, looking to keep improving, and stating she definitely wanted the Ball rematch.
She’ll get that, and the vacant WBA bantamweight title will also be at stake. Ball, for what it’s worth, last fought on Nov. 14, beating Jorgelina Guanini — who also didn’t make weight — via 10-round decision for an interim WBC belt at 122 pounds. It should be noted that Ball has never made 118 pounds, and really you could question why a fighter who doesn’t fight at this weight and a fighter who’s done so once are getting a vacant title fight, so let’s just call it what it is: women’s boxing has wading pool depth, and Matchroom have stroke. Just as a fight, I’m perfectly happy to see Ball and Courtenay rematch, so personally I’ll probably just stick to that and hypocritically not care about this particular title situation while I might later care about a different one, while ultimately not really caring about any of them. Fun stuff.