Jamie Mitchell outpoints Shannon Courtenay, claims vacant WBA bantamweight title
American Jamie Mitchell arrived in the U.K. confident of beating Shannon Courtenay and she did just that, claiming the vacant WBA bantamweight title at the M&S Arena in Liverpool on Saturday.
The result was a 10-round majority decision for Mitchell, but some of the scoring was cruel in the extreme. The official tallies were 97-93, 96-94 and 95-95. The Ring scored the bout 98-92 in favor of the visitor.
“I told you guys I was gonna come out and get the belt and I did exactly what I said I was gonna do,” said Mitchell (7-0-2, 4 knockouts). “I told you I would take her into deep waters and drown her. She took me into deep waters, but I swam like an Olympian.
“This changes my life, but a belt doesn’t make me.”
The 36-year-old Mitchell came out blazing in Round 1 and forced the home fighter on to the retreat. Courtenay responded with the odd nifty counter, but she was outworked, and that was essentially the fight in microcosm.
For round after round, Mitchell boxed well on the outside behind an educated jab and when the pair traded up close, the Las Vegas-based Californian, for the most part, got the best of it.
Courtenay fought very well in Round 8, scoring effectively with the right hand and backing up her opponent but that success was short-lived.
The 28-year-old Courtenay (7-2, 3 KOs) lost the title on the scales on Friday after coming in 2.5 pounds over the bantamweight limit. She won the vacant title in April by outpointing popular Australian Ebanie Bridges.
Both fighters committed to a direct rematch.
Tom Gray is Managing Editor for Ring Magazine. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_Gray_Boxing