Crossmeglen could celebrate National Elite Senior success a month after the National Elite Championship concluded in the National Stadium in January if Shauna O’Callaghan has her way.
The talented lightweight, who was once tipped to have a big impact on the Irish senior scene, is impressing massively in Canada and qualified for the Canadian National Championships last weekend.
The fighter who won European Junior silver for Ireland in 2015 and collected nine Irish titles across the grades and age groups, emigrated to Canada in the summer of 2020 and slipped off the radar since.
However, she did bring her gloves, joined a club in September 2021, and is doing her best to make sure it’s not a case of out-of-sight out of mind when it comes to the Irish fight fraternity.
The Vancouver-based hairdresser, who now boxes out of the Quinit Boxing Club won the British Columbia Provincial Championship for the second time last weekend – and did so in such style the 22-year-old won boxer of the tournament.
The 60kg title win qualifies the Clann Naofa graduate for the Canadian National Championships and she will represent British Columbia in the national contest in February.
“I’m really happy with the win because I started the year on a high winning this title and this award and now I’ve finished the year on a high winning both again,” O’Callaghan told Irish-boxing.com.
“It’s an honor to win the award as there was a lot of great ladies in the tournament. The standard in Canada is high especially with such a large population and so many different clubs. No fight is ever easy when you’re dealing with different styles and personalities but I’ve worked hard to get each win against tough opponents every time.”
O’Callaghan now steps up to senior national level for the first time and does so confidently. The stylish operator is aware challenges await but has belief in her work ethic and talents.
“I will be entering the next national competition. As far as my chances, I’ve never fought any other provinces as the nationals was cancelled last year. However, I know with the hours I put in training every week in Quinit that I have a chance to win against any opponent I come up against.”
Could victory at the Canadian Nationals in February open an Olympic pathway for the Armagh native?
“Unfortunately only Canadian citizens can fight for Canada in the Olympics,” she explains.