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Ireland's Shannon Edge to fight on Braekhus-Mathis undercard in Oslo
by Michael O'Neill
Photos Credit:  Liam Brereton/Facebook
September 19, 2016

(SEPT 19)  As we’ve previously announced here on WBAN, a great night’s boxing is set for Norwegian capital Oslo on October 1st, and as always here on WBAN we’ll bring you news, photos and when possible a video link to the World title bout in the days that follow.

Some 10,000 fans will ‘pack out’ the famous Oslo Spektrum arena for what promises to be one of the great nights in boxing as Bergen’s Cecilia Braekhus (28-0, 7 KOs) again takes on French champion, Anne-Sophie Mathis, (27-3-1, 23 KOs), who hails from Varangéville, Meurthe-et-Moselle.

As we mentioned previously they first fought on September 22, 2012, at Arena Nord in Frederikshavn, Denmark, where Brækhus decisioned Mathis over 10 rounds to retain her titles.

For Saturday week’s fight there is an Irish interest as the Norwegian promoters were keen to have ‘amateur’ bouts too under AIBA/EUBC rules thus an invitation went out to young Edenderry boxer, Shannon Edge as well as to their own champ, Madeleine Angelsen (64kg).

So whilst Braekhus and Mathis are very well known internationally let’s find out more about Shannon Edge who is best known to fans of Irish boxing.

First we asked her ‘how did this fight come about’?

“I received a call from my coach Liam Brereton asking me would I like to take a fight in Norway and of course I said ‘Yes’.

Then he said ‘How does a Stadium of 10,000 people sound, and one that was sold out in one hour? You’d be on the undercard for arguably the greatest Pro Female fighter in the World’ .

When I realised he wasn't joking I nearly fainted- with excitement, as I truly couldn't believe the opportunity I was being given.

“I’ve been training very hard ever since. The girl I will be fighting is Norway's Youth ‘Golden Girl’ Madeleine Angelsen”.

Do you know much about your opponent?

“I first met Madeleine at the German Queens Cup in Stralsund back in 2014 but we were on opposite sides of the draw so I never met her (in the ring) and it has been that way ever since.

We’ve often talked at competitions - she is a genuinely lovely girl and we have always wanted to fight each other and now we have a great opportunity to do so”.

Indeed few ‘Amateurs’ have appeared before such large crowds not even at this year’s Olympics in Rio. Back in 2012 of course the Excel Centre in London’s Docklands had ‘full house notices’ for the 2012 Games where women’s boxing outshone the men, especially with fighters like Nicola Adams, Natasha Jonas, Queen Underwood, Marlen Esparza and Katie Taylor in action plus Russia’s Sofya Ochigava (now a Pro too) and other top stars from the then ‘amateur’ world..

Earlier Taylor had fought on the undercard of the Bernard Dunne world title fight in Dublin’s fair city, again before a capacity 10,000 attendance, against USA’s Carrie Barry.

That was then and this is now so for those of you not very familiar with Ms Edge’s record let’s examine the record books:

She is a six times All-Ireland Champion, and five times Leinster Provincial Champion.

In addition she has been five times ‘Nine County Champion’ and five times a titleholder in her native County Kildare’.

Have you represented Ireland in many International tournaments?

“I have boxed for Ireland at the World Boxing Championship that took place in Taipei,Taiwan last May and also boxed at the European Championships in Hungary in August last year.

This year I’ve been to Canada and Spain for training camps and then had a dual match against 2 French titleholders in France which I won the first night and again in the ‘return’.

Next I flew out to Switzerland and fought and won against the Swiss champion. I just came back from Turkey where I defeated the Turkish Champion and and won by TKO”.

Have you always been a boxer and what made you take up the sport?

“At just six years old I tried nearly every sport possible and was not interested in any of them.

My Mother became so fed up with me quitting sports that she refused to spend any more money on sports!

She put me into a ‘boxing for exercise class’, as it was at the time only €1 every Tuesday and Thursday. When I joined I was told I had a natural talent and I enjoyed it, so I stuck at it and have loved it ever since”.

What are your eventual aims and who – if anyone- is your hero?

“I have many goals that I would like to accomplish, but all of my training over the last few years has all been for one big goal - I have always dreamt of qualifying for the World Boxing Championships, winning titles there and representing my country – in May I finally got to achieve the latter part of that dream.

My next dream is to follow in the footsteps of the ‘one and only, Katie Taylor’. I definitely have the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in my sights, but I know I will need more experience and more hard work will have to be done if I want to achieve that goal’.

So you’ve represented Ireland and travelled a lot on the Irish team – tell us some more about those events.

“As a member of the Irish team, I have been very lucky to have boxed in many countries across Europe.

I’ve boxed in Germany at the Queens Cup and I earned a bronze. I ‘ve also boxed in Italy, England, France , Sweden, Holland and now Switzerland, and outside Europe too, in Taiwan, and in Canada. It’s always great to represent one’s country at home and have boxed in many Home Internationals, one highlight of which was winning my fight against Sweden in the National Stadium in Dublin.

I’ve boxed a few times in the Golden Girl tournament in Boras, Sweden, which is one of very few ‘amateur’ competitions that are held for just female boxers: it is a massive event open to all female boxers in Europe indeed many from other parts of the world too. A great tournament which I hope I’m invited to again.

Training – how do you feel about that – must be a very tough life?

“Boxing and I have an extreme love/hate relationship -as much as I love the winning side, the hard work, dedication and sacrifices that have to be made to get where you want to be are extremely hard. If you are serious about the sport, you have to constantly watch what you eat.

Coming up to competitions, I have to train at least twice a day everyday and that is tough.

Although you may be part of a team and have the support of family and coaches, once you step into that ring you are on your own and it is up to you what happens next.

I do also ‘enjoy’ training as it can be a stress reliever especially to help with the overload of stress from school and I would recommend any girl who has an interest and is willing to commit to boxing to join.

(Sound advice there from Shannon).

The feeling when you win is the most amazing feeling in the world, especially when you put so much hard work into it and every loss is a learning experience.

My parents always try their best to fund my boxing as much as they can and what I do not have I just do without”.

Since Katie Taylor won Gold in London, there has been more funding put into women’s boxing, but, since boxing has been Ireland’s most successful sport in the Olympic Games we could definitely do with more funding especially for women with some great talent around the country.

Any final thoughts Shannon?

If there are any sponsors or supporters of boxing out there who are looking for a female boxer to invest in, I would be very grateful for any support given.

You can see from my achievements that I will make it count”.

As she said St Brigid’s Edenderry’s coach Liam Brereton helped secure this huge challenge for the 18 years old and as boxing fans in Ireland – as well as the sport’s Governing body knows, Brereton has done as much and arguably more than anyone else to help secure funding for young Irish females to fight abroad – indeed he has been asked by other clubs and boxers if they could join one of the Edenderry selections, whilst he was instrumental in obtaining the Quick Park sponsorship deal for Irish female boxing.

We wish Shannon Edge and Madeleine Angelsen every success in their future careers as indeed we do Mathis and Braekhus in the main fight of the night.

You can find out more about the Irish girl’s opponent Madeleine Elizabeth Angelsen here via one of her social media accounts.


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