Shauna O’Keefe is Ireland’s newest professional boxer.
The Tipperary talent confirmed she has elected to pursue a paid career this evening and will join the likes of Katie Taylor, Kate Radomska and Kristina O’Hara McCafferty on the list of active Irish professional females.
Rumour had suggested there was strong promotional and managerial interest in the Clonmel talent over the last 12 months. Coach of Katie Taylor’s sole pro defeater Chantelle Cameron, Jamie Moore was said to have expressed a desire to work with her, but Robbie Flynn and former world title challenger Kevin Mitchell have won the race for her signature.
Waterford man Flynn has guided the career of Kate Radomska to date, and probably more importantly for O’Keefe, works with soon to be European title challenger, Dee Allen, a fighter who has generated momentum and won titles despite not being aligned with one of the major promoters.
Decorated former pro Mitchell is now coaching out of the Matchroom Gym. it remains to be seen if he will coach O’Keefe but he will be part of her managerial setup.
“Shauna has signed a three-year deal. Myself and Kevin are absolutely delighted with our first co-signing with more Irish fighters to be announced in due course,” Flynn told Irish-boxing.com.
“Shauna is currently at Matchroom Gym where Kevin is based for a week training and is already impressing those around her. Meetings are ongoing surrounding Shauna’s debut with an announcement expected in the coming weeks.”
O’Keefe ended a sabbatical away from the sport just last year, diving straight back into the deep end and proving she can still swim. The Munster boxer was crowned National Elite Champion at 63kg and went on to medal for Ireland at the Feliks Stamm International Tournament.
She exits the amateur game again but this time to turn pro and becomes a very interesting person on the Irish pro circuit.
O’Keefe has played a part in some important amateur fights, not to mention enjoying her fair share of success.
She holds a place in Irish history considering she is the only woman face Katie Taylor in the National Championships – and the fact she stepped up to fight the Irish Icon and gave the now undisputed lightweight world champion the chance to win a title in the ring gave her her own place in Irish fight fan hearts.
The Tipperary native also holds an amateur victory over World and European gold medal winner Amy Broadhurst and was on the wrong end of a final defeat to another Olympic gold medal winner Kellie Harrington.