Shannon Courtenay on watching Katie Taylor from a bar and finding her own way without Olympic pedigree
British boxer Shannon Courtenay has said she is looking to forge her own path in the sport despite being inspired by Katie Taylor.
The 26 year-old turned professional in March 2019 and has won all five of her fights so far.
Having turned to boxing later in life, Courtenay recalls watching now undisputed lightweight superstar Taylor win gold for Ireland at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Speaking to Sky Sports, she said: "In the Olympics [in 2012] I wasn't into boxing, back then. I was working in the bar.
"Anthony Joshua is from the same area as me and everybody wanted to watch AJ but I saw Katie. I thought 'bloody hell, this girl is good'. I still didn't box for a couple more years, but that was the first time I saw her."
Courtenay boxes under Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Boxing banner and also trains with the highly-regarded Adam Booth.
And while she has the chance to be on the same shows as her role model Taylor, she is also aware her journey in the sport is a great deal different.
"I don't compare or aim to be like anyone because I've got my own chapter and journey," she added.
"But she is an inspiration. If it wasn't for Katie then I wouldn't be here because she has paved the way. Because of her, I'm on a massive platform because women's boxing is taken more seriously.
"But I'm on my own journey. She has an Olympic background, I don't have an Olympic background so I'm doing things the hard way. I didn't come to the table with a gold medal around my neck or with 100 amateur fights. I'm doing things my own way."