Briton Shannon Courtenay (7-1, 3KOs) was crowned the new WBA World Female bantamweight champion after defeating Aussie Ebanie Bridges on points following a punishing battle at the Copper Box Arena in London on April 10 on the Benn-Vargas undercard.
Immediately after the final bell, the WBA #1 Contender "Shotgun" Shannon O'Connell (21-6-1, 10KOs) called for her shot at the title that had barely been united with its new owner.
Watford's Courtenay was embroiled in a bitter war of words with New South Wales' Bridges ahead of their world title fight, but the British bantamweight had the final word, securing a unanimous decision with scores of 97-94, 98-92 and 98-92.
Once-beaten 'Baby Face Assassin' Courtney reacted to becoming world champion, "I have genuinely turned my life around," she beamed. "I boxed nicer, I have cuter shots, I landed the jab every time. She just tried to knock me out. My jab won me the fight. Her eye shows that."
The 27-year-old Brit then declared, "I want Rachel Ball next!"
Promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed his shared interest, "I would love to see the Rachel Ball rematch. Shannon wants to put that right." Underdog Ballshocked Shannon with first-round knocjkdown in their 2020 clash, which 30-year-old West Midlander Ball won 77-75 on points.
However, waiting in the wings is the #1 WBA contender "Shotgun" O'Connell , who has been outspoken about getting her own opportunity at the newly crowned champion after earning her status with three fantastic title wins in a row.
The reigning Australian, Commonwealth, and WBA Gold Female bantamweight champion opened up on her potential future rival Courtenay, "It was a better fight than I expected to see but I still think that’s because both girls are on that same level as each other. I’m at a different level so it’ll be a step up for Courtenay and I think she will still make it a good fight but I’ll definitely be too much for her.
"If she wants to call herself the WBA world champ she should really fight the top of the table and that’s me."
38-year-old O'Connell is a three-time world title contender, who is presently riding on a six-fight winning run which includes gaining three major belts and ruining three unbeaten records.
BoxRec currently lists Rachel Ball at #3, Shannon O'Connell next at #4, with Courtenay slightly behind in seventh position, making any matchups between this trio an interesting prospect.