Jamie Mitchell captures championship gold. Is a rematch next?
For Shannon “The Baby Face Assassin” Courtenay (7-1, 3KOs), October 9 was to be the first defense of her WBA bantamweight title. Instead, the former champion failed to make weight ahead of her fight with Jamie “The Miracle” Mitchell (6-0-2, 4KOs). Courtenay would hit the scales 2.5 pounds over the 118-pound bantamweight limit. So instead of defending her title, she’ll now look to salvage the weekend by beating a highly motivated Mitchell, who can still claim the WBA strap with a victory.
In her previous fight, Courtenay would wage battle with Ebanie Bridges (7-1, 3KOs) and outclass her by a unanimous decision to win the WBA bantamweight title.
Her opponent, Mitchell, is an underdog. She is coming off a fifth-round TKO stoppage victory over Noemi Bosques in her last ring outing. The orthodox fighter from California is 36 years old, so she knows that time is ticking and the window to become a world champion is closing. Sporting a fifty percent knockout ratio, can the “Miracle” secure her first world title by way of a knockout?
THE FIREWORKS STARTED EARLY
Shannon Courtenay came to the ring with a knee brace on and looked soft in the belly. Mitchell attacked immediately, pinning the former champion against the ropes, landing hard, overhand rights and uppercuts. Courtenay was able to land a counter left hook and good right-hand.
Mitchell then shifted gears, deciding to box and move around the ring, testing the legs of the heavier former champion. She was having success landing a three-punch combination, taking advantage of the less mobile Courtenay.
THE CHALLENGER CAME TO FIGHT
Mitchell was really coming on in the middle rounds using her aggressiveness to pin the former champion up against the ropes and swarm her with blistering punches from all angles. The work-rate of the challenger was making the British fighter gun shy.
Courtenay’s left eye was beginning to swell as she tried to fight back. However, she kept getting countered with an overhand right over her lazy jab. Mitchell started going to the body and was surprisingly out-boxing Courtenay whenever they were in the center of the ring.
THE EXCITEMENT IN THE FINAL MOMENT
One thing is for certain, this was not the same Courtenay fans saw that won the vacant title against Ebanie Bridges back in April. However, She started to find a rhythm in round eight after landing a hard left hook counter that hurt the overly aggressive challenger. It seemed as if the former champion was on the verge of getting the knockout as she landed the overhand right and another left hook.
Mitchell survived the onslaught and came out in the final two rounds looking to retake control of the fight. She forced Courtenay against the ropes and started working the body, and landed two jaw-jacking right uppercuts. Both women were letting their hands go in a feverish phonebooth collision until the final bell sounded.
A LITTLE HOME COOKING CONTROVERSY
It was clear that Mitchell won the fight. Even the commentators and former cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew believed that to be so. It seemed one judge felt otherwise, scoring it 95-95 even. The others saw it 97-93, and 96-94 for Mitchell. 3kingsboxing agrees with the latter scorecard.
For some odd reason, Shannon Courtenay looked, shockingly, in disbelief, and this author has no idea what was on the mind of the judge or Courtenay. It was an easy fight to call.
IS A REMATCH NEXT?
Mitchell, as her alias goes, pulled off a miracle coming into hostile territory. What is next for the newly crowned WBA bantamweight champion? As both women spoke at the post-fight interview, Courtenay explained the shocked look after hearing the results. She believed she had landed the harder shots, and Mitchell was not landing when up against the ropes. She ended by vowing to win the rematch.
Jamie Mitchell expressed feeling disrespected by the remarks, and she pointed at the bruises on the face of the former champion. She further made it clear there will be a repeat performance in a rematch.
By: Garrisson Bland