• Dexter Hastings

Inspiring female boxer talking about her ABA Journey

Kim Shannon

Kim Shannon is a 30 year old female amateur boxer who has recently fought for England at 54 kg at the championships but is now back down to 51 kg.The 5ft 4 orthodox boxer has a impressive record of 25 fights 18 wins and 7 losses. Kim was the 2015 Tri-nations gold medalist and runner up in the Elite ABA championships against GBs Lisa Whiteside.

Kim is a English senior female contracted fighter who fights out of 2nd City ABC under the guidance of Paddy Farrell.

I asked Kim who her favorite boxer was she told me it was Mike Tyson because of his aggressive style, Kim added “he was a true fighter and not a typical text book boxer”. When I asked her what was the best fight she have ever saw Kim told me “I have seen many good fights so its hard to choose one. I like to watch different styles but I will have to say Tyson vs Bruno. Tyson was struggling at the beginning to get out of range of Bruno’s shots. Tyson then became strong and found the chance to stop Bruno with a devastating left hook. Then again I do like the old school Hatton fights for the exact same reason. Hatton just wanted a fight and I like that, they were both fighting entertainers. Last but not least I liked watching Nasem just because you can see how much he enjoyed the moment of each fight.

Kim has been boxing for nearly 5 years but had a year off due to her dad passing away. Kim informed me that before boxing she used to train Muay Thai since She was a kid and stills enjoy watching all different types of martial arts. Kim told me “I came across 2nd city ABC and enjoyed the training side to boxing and was really enjoying learning something new and how to box.

I asked Kim about what inspired her to take up the noble art she said “my dad very much inspired me to “fight” I say fight because I didn't particularly think I'd box but I know I'd fight in some art. I grew up watching boxing fights with him, the wrestling late at night and even play fighting with him. He would take me on the pads, go running with me and even encourage me with training at a young age. My mom kept me active in encouraging me in different things such as ballet (would you believe) gymnastics and trampolining. So my parents have been so inspirational as they gave me the opportunities to discover what I now love and share a passion for. Then the rest was down to me, I always knew I wanted to invest my time into something and boxing it was”.

I then asked Kim what her hardest fight had been? Kim replied “ my hardest fight would be against a good fighter from Ireland only on the pure fact of hurting my thumb during the 2nd round and having to continue to fight in pain, I caught my thumb and it went back in my glove. That was hard mentally as I had to continue and had to have a toe too toe battle for the win which I got, after some gritting of the teeth mind you.

Kim then talked about her goals in boxing she told me, “my boxing goal are to finally become a full time athlete for team GB. Then along the way gain some amazing experience fighting all over the world for my country. I plan to have my final GB assessment and win at 51kg again.

I am a full time teacher in a secondary school for students with social, emotional and behavioural problems which I very much enjoy. I still have a very long way and a lot of hard work to undergo but I'm determined to achieve my goals and dream of becoming apart of team GB and developing for Tokyo 2020 Olympics. It has been hard committing to my boxing lifestyle the last few months due to work developments and commitments however I will return in September ready to take my rightful place”.

Kim then finished by adding “my family is my world and those who have supported me mean the world to me, the team at 2nd City gym, my incredible sponsor Michael Walsh and MDG rail Ltd, he has stuck by me from the start. I really couldn't do it without these rocks in my corner.

Dexter’s Thoughts

What can I say about Kim, what an inspirational lady, I have followed her achievements via social media and have nothing but admiration for want she has achieved and hopefully Kim can make the Olympic team for Tokyo 2020 and bring back a medal maybe even gold and emulate Nicola Adams and the great Katie Taylor.

While writing this it reminds me of the first female fight I saw. It was an amateur show about 8 years ago, the fight was between 2 girls aged around 14,15. It was a complete mismatch and lasted just 30 second but that was 30 second to long for me. It really turned my stomach and I was totally against women boxing. About 2 years later Narna’s gym in Bartley Green opened and I started helping out with the boxing training there. I soon begin helping out on the ladies night on a Wednesday as a favor. To be honest I didn't hold out much hope but was pleasantly surprised when some of the females could really boxes and were willing to learn, some of them even had light spars with me. This made me think I may have been wrong about female boxing, I then helped a unlicensed female boxer Claire Johnson train for a title fight. Now I ref unlicensed boxing and i'm more than happy to ref a female match and have seen some good technical boxing matches from the females.

It is a growing part of boxing and I welcome it, with clubs like the W.B.C (women's boxing club) Narna’s gym ladies night and all the amateur gyms catering for females and the like of Katie Taylor, Nicola Adams and of course Birmingham’s own Kim Shannon female boxing is going from strength to strength.