British boxer Shannon Courtenay admits suffering mental health struggles after Rachel Ball defeat

<p>Courtenay suffered her first defeat as a pro earlier this year</p>

Courtenay suffered her first defeat as a pro earlier this year

(PA Images)
17:46pm, Thu 03 Dec 2020
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British boxer Shannon Courtenay has said defeat is something she ‘never wants to taste again’ after being beaten by Rachel Ball back in August.

The 27-year-old returns this Friday night against Poland’s Dorota Norek as she looks to bounce back from her first professional loss.

And while she admits she initially found defeat difficult to come to terms with, now she is better prepared than ever before.

"Everyone loves you and is your best mate when you're winning," she told BBC Sport. "You see people's true colours when everything isn't hunky dory.

"I will be the first to admit that I struggled at first.

"My mental health struggled big time. I didn't know what to do with myself. Now, with the camp I have just had, I'm physically in the best shape I've been in and I'm thinking: 'It wasn't just a blessing, it's a lesson’.

"When you get that sour taste of something being taken away from you, you never want to taste it again."

Courtenay is fighting as part of the undercard for the WBO super-middleweight title fight between Billy Joe Saunders and Martin Murray.

If she wins on Friday, her promoter Eddie Hearn has expressed an interest in making the rematch between Courtenay and Ball in 2021.

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