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Irish-Aboriginal Shanell Dargan makes history

Shanell Dargan made history in typically entertaining fashion over the weekend.

The Irish-Aboriginal talent went to war with Amber Amelia on the undercard of Tim Tszyu’s latest fight and came away with the spoils in the form of the Australian title.

The former X-Factor star had the x-factor on the night winning another entertaining clash by three identical scorecards of 77-75 to become the super bantamweight champion of Australia.

The win was also a history-making one, with Dargan now the victory of the first-ever Australian title fight between Indigenous women.

“I’ve worked so hard,” an ecstatic and emotional Dargan said in the ring after the fight.

“This means everything to me, it’s the start of a new journey and I want to go all the way to the top.

“We both knew this was going to be a war and being on this platform, we knew we had to put on a show.”

The Indigenous talent, who wears the Aboriginal and Irish colours on her fight gear, is a former X-Factor star, whose journey brought her to New York where she sang for John Legend.

The 29-year-old then decided to take up boxing as a means of dealing with some traumas and as often happens, fell in love with the sport. Although, what is not so much of a common practice, she quickly found herself in the pro ring where she has excelled, entertained and now earned champion status.

Her fighting Irish spirit comes from her Grandmother, a county Armagh woman who raised her and whom she holds in the highest of regard.

“I was raised by my Grandmother who is Irish, her family are from Armagh,” she told Irish-boxing.com previously.

“I’m born in Australia but still feel a deep connection to Ireland as my Grandmother is the strongest woman I know. She has given me the strength and the drive to be the best I can be. I am also Aboriginal which I’m very proud of but I always represent both cultures. Especially for my Nan because she has sacrificed so much for me.”

Dargan also has a connection to Ireland via her coach Aarron Bailie, whose mother she called Gran.

“I have an amazing coach Aaron Bailie who was a previous Irish champ. So wearing the Irish flag lets me represent him too and his beautiful late mother Cathleen Bailie who just recently passed away, who I loved dearly. I called her Gran.”


Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years