Shannon “The Cannon” Courtenay KOs Dorata Norek in London
By David A. Avila
A single blow ended the fight and rebooted Shannon Courtenay back into contender status with a knockout win over Poland’s Dorata Norek on Friday.
“I think the fight was scrappy,” said Courtenay. “I’m glad I got the win.”
England’s Courtenay (6-1, 3 KOs) dropped down to bantamweight and dropped Norek (6-2) to prove that her summer loss in a high-profile fight was just a minor blip in London, England at Wembley Arena.
It was her first fight since losing by close decision to Rachel Ball this past August in a super bantamweight fight.
Courtenay found the wild swinging Norek rushing in like a charging rhino with her head down and arms winging wildly. But the blonde bantamweight slipped and ducked under the blows and delivered sharp and powerful counters.
Norek tried again in the second round to bum rush Courtenay and once again was met with sharp counters. Rights pounded Norek who suddenly slowed down her wild attack.
Just when it looked like Courtenay was about to end the fight, Norek changed tactics and surprisingly began to use her legs to move away from the British fighter’s powerful blows. The Polish fighter discovered her check left hook was a perfect antidote for Courtenay’s big right hand.
For a few rounds Courtenay was in pursuit as Norek used check hooks to keep the British fighter at bay. It proved successful for a few rounds until Courtenay discovered right leads were the answer to Norek’s check hooks.
Norek resumed attacking Courtenay once again and was met with powerful shots to the head and body that seemed to paralyze her. Back Norek went into moving around the boxing ring while using the check left hook as a safety valve.
Courtenay also discovered her left jab gave Norek something to think about. And when they engaged and Norek attempted to use the check left hook, Courtenay timed a perfect lead right cross and snapped the Polish fighters head around. Down she went for the count and could not get up.
One blow was all it took and Courtenay was ruled the winner by knockout at 1:35 of the seventh round.
“It would have been so easy for anyone who ever lost to walk away. It’s the way you come back that defines you,” said Courtenay about losing to Ball months ago.
Eddie Hearn, promoter for Matchboxing, said the first match between Ball and Courtenay was very close and a second clash seems logical.
“She showed she really wants it and I thought it was a great performance,” said Hearn of Courtenay. “I really think she’s ready for a world championship now.”
Hearn said a rematch with Ball needs to be made and for the bantamweight world title.
“It’s a fight that makes sense,” said Courtenay about fighting Ball for the vacant WBA bantamweight world title. “See you next year.”
(Photo by Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing)