Shannon Bowe: Life In Lockdown

Shannon Bowe: Life In Lockdown 

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The last time I spoke to Darlington’s Shannon Bowe she was on the verge of turning professional and very much looking forward to an active year in the paid ranks.

But as the world now knows, things have changed. Virtually everything in life has stopped, normality now is completely different from the normal we once knew not so long ago. Yesterday, Shannon should have been making her professional debut in Gateshead, the frustration that she didn’t is obvious:

“I’m a bit angry, to be honest, my family have said I have done nothing but be angry since I stopped boxing.”

Like many, Shannon has seen all her plans put on ice, and her obvious disappointment is seen on a recent social media post and her search for a punching bag to help her stay sharp in lockdown:

“I would have been punching someone’s lips off making my debut tomorrow, so I need to release some anger.”  

Training goes on for fighters, staying ready for when everything returns to what it was before:

“My family is completely isolated so I have been using the time I am allowed outside  for either going on my bike or to go for a run. Then at home, I have got a tyre and a few other things to do some circuits in the garden, so it’s not too bad. I haven’t lost my fitness that is still there, but not obviously to the level it was before the lockdown, I have been doing 23 miles on the bike and then my runs as well.”

Even when fighters are allowed to go back training, the worry of catching the virus will still be there, and boxers are by nature in close proximity to each other, be it in the gym or in sparring:

“I won’t get straight back into it, I will be careful. I will go back in the gym, and do pads and stuff and work up to actual sparring.”

In January, Shannon was in the early stages of her application to become Darlington’s first-ever female professional boxer. With only a brain scan now outstanding, Shannon is ready to go once boxing returns in whatever form it comes back in. The intention is to either box at super-flyweight or bantamweight, and she looks to be in safe hands when her career gets underway. Trained by Pete Shepperson and managed by Steve Wraith, and her trainer is full of praise for his young prospect:

“Shannon is very much going to be learning on the job, with limited amateur experience we know that. However, as long as she is managed and matched well early on by Steve Wraith and myself then Shannon has bags of potential, She has very fast hands and is a naturally powerful puncher with both hands, especially for her weight, there are lots to work on, but at 20 years old there is no need to rush her. Shannon trains hard and lives a clean life, very dedicated, she knows it’s a short career so wants to give it her all.”

Boxing is not the only thing that has stopped in Shannon’s life, her day job as a personal trainer at a local gym is also a victim of the ongoing global crisis:

“My work has stopped, before the lockdown we were still doing classes, but I don’t think I will be back in there for a while because it is in a gym. I have been furloughed on 80% of my money, so it is not too bad.”

There is so much uncertainty around at the moment, nobody knows when or where sport will return and in what form. The smaller shows will have a longer wait to return with ticket sales a must to finance the shows. Shannon clearly isn’t expecting an early start to her professional career:

“I think the earliest I will box is in December, but I think it will be next year because there is not a chance they will open up all the gyms much before then. Then, of course, you have to get sparring done, and with my work I have to be careful there, I don’t want to be catching it from one of my clients or giving it to them.”

The frustration must be immense, but more so after a problematic short-lived amateur career:

“The reason I turned pro was because I kept getting let down in the amateurs and now all this has happened I can’t fight at all, it’s so annoying. People keep saying to me enjoy the break, but I don’t want a break I just want to fight. I would like to say a big thank you to all my sponsors who have greatly helped me turn professional and are still supporting me through this difficult time.”

Shannon is only 20, and the current situation is thankfully only temporary, so time is definitely on her side. There is a bright side to the crisis which might end up benefitting the likes of Shannon, in the short-term we will see a plethora of domestic fights due to travel restrictions. The pro debut will happen and it might end up being on a much bigger platform than it would have been.

 

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