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5'4" junior bantamweight Shanee Martin from Colchester, England was born on January 31, 1982. She began boxing at age 12 after "getting fed up standing around in the gym watching (her older brother) train". Her brother's boxing coach, a family friend, wasn’t eager for Shanee to take up boxing at first but agreed to train her so she would not go to another gym where he could not keep an eye on her!

It was hard for Shanee to find sanctioned amateur bouts ... it took her three years to get her first fight and she fought only five times between ages 15 and 19. The lack of bouts eventually made her disillusioned with amateur boxing. After she could not get official sanctioning to travel to the inaugural AIBA world amateur championship in Scranton, Pennsylvania in 2001, despite being willing to pay the costs herself, she turned to “unlicensed boxing” for the Independent Boxing Association.  She won six of seven bouts in two years, then turned pro in September 2004 with trainer, manager and promoter Mark Roe of Ampro Promotions.

Shanee made her pro debut on October 16, 2004 at Goresbrook Leisure Centre, Dagenham, Essex, England, weighing in at 114½ lbs and TKO'ing Iliana Boneva (5'3", 113½ lbs) of Bulgaria in the final round of a scheduled four-rounder. Boneva fell to 0-5 with the loss.

On March 5, 2005 at at Goresbrook Leisure Centre, Dagenham, Essex, England, Shanee (114 lbs) won a six-round 58-57 decision over Svetla Taskova (5'0½", 111¼ lbs) of Bulgaria. Martin overcame some early success by Taskova to cash in during the later stages as Taskova tired. Some ringside reports said that Martin's win was more emphatic than the referee's score indicated. Taskova fell to 3-10-1 (1 KO).

On September 18, 2005 at the York Hall in Bethnal Green, London, England, Shanee Martin (110¼ lbs) TKO'd Albena Atseva (110½ lbs) at 0:54 in the third round of a scheduled six round bout.

On November 19, 2005 at the Elephant and Castle Recreation Centre in Southwark, England, Shanee (113 lbs) won a clear six-round 60-54 decision over junior featherweight Valérie Rangeard (120 lbs) of France. Martin received the biggest cheer of the night as she made her entrance to the sound of I'm for ever blowing bubbles. Martin got straight to work with fast hands in the opener, leading with her left and working Rangeard's body with lefts and rights followed by a flurry of uppercuts. Rangeard took the punches and came forward to test Martin in round two, but Martin covered up well and countered with her left jab and right hook both landing cleanly. Rangeard left herself open while Martin‘s style was much more polished, using the full range of angles and shots. The rest of the fight saw Martin mix it up to the head and the body with a full variety of punches. Martin improved to 4-0-0 (2 KO's) with the win while dropping Rangeard, who has boxed professionally since 1998, to a 0-10 record. 

"This will be my last bout of the year and then after Christmas I'll turn my attention towards going for the European title." said Shanee after the fight. 

On February 26, 2006 at the Goresbrook Leisure Centre in Dagenham, Shanee (116¼ lbs) scored a TKO over Maja Frenzel (117¼  lbs) of Karlsruhe, Germany in the fifth round of a scheduled eight-rounder. According to Kevin Taylor of BritishBoxing.Net, "The unbeaten Martin bossed the fight from the start even though her opponent looked in a different weight class despite only being a pound heavier and hit the German with some hurtful punches to the body as well as finding her chin on numerous occasions with her accurate uppercuts. Frenzel had only one stoppage loss to her name and that was in a WIBF-GBU title fight back in 2003 when she was stopped in the tenth and last round but Martin made short work of her and the German was breathing heavily as early as the third round after being completely dominated in the second. Referee Marcus McDonnell seemed poised to jump in at various times in the second and fourth rounds but to her credit Frenzel kept throwing leather back at the just the right times but McDonnell decided he had seen enough in the fifth after a flurry of unanswered punches and Martin and her vivacious crowd celebrated her fifth win."  Frenzel fell to 6-5-0 (1 KO) with the loss.

On July 23, 2006 at the Goresbrook Leisure Centre in Dagenham, Shanee lost her first pro fight when 33-year-old Juliette Winter of Derby won a 79-75 eight-round decision over her for the inaugural female British Masters female super-flyweight title. As reported by Danny Coyne of BritishBoxing.net "Martin started the more aggressive trying to find her range with jab and cross combinations which certainly found their target in the first two rounds of the eight by two encounter. Spurred on frantically by the ever faithful Martin army, Shanee's work became less effective and it looked like she was trying too hard to be impressive, as Winter found her range with her powerful jab which caused Martin's nose to bleed constantly. Martin looked the more effective through out the fight with good lateral movement in defence, whilst using double combinations to both head and body. However it was the boxer with the more defensive approach and cleaner connecting punches that seemed to impress referee Jeff Hinds as he scored the bout 79-75. A little harsh in my mind but I am sure the talented young “Hammer” will be back in the new season and hopefully set the record straight with very impressive performer in Juliette Winter."  Winter, who had been away from the ring for two years since being TKO'd by Esther Schouten, reportedly took the fight on just nine days' notice (losing four pounds to make the weight). Winter had won a four-round decision over Martin's intended opponent Cathy Brown in 2003. WInter is now 2-3-0 (0 KOs) while Martin slipped to 5-1-0 (3 KOs).

Shanee battles Germany's Rebekka Herrmann
© Copyrighted photo by Bernard Miller

On December 3, 2006 at York Hall, in Bethnal Green, London, Shanee squeaked out an eight-round 77-76 decision over Rebekka Herrmann of Offenburg, Germany.  WBAN's ringside correspondent Bernard Miller reported that "It was just as well that the miniature Martin’s fighting heart was an order of magnitude above her physique. The German, unbeaten in five previous fights, was calm and determined. She had a significant height advantage and, more importantly, knew how to exploit it. The only loss on Shanee’s record came when she decided to have a war with fellow-Brit Juliette Winter, who was also a taller and longer-armed opponent. The hometown fighter began the battle by showing head movement that Cus D’Amato would have approved. Hermann didn’t have a static target at which to aim her shots, and Martin jabbed aggressively and well to both the head and body. Martin’s problems unfolded when either her head movement went astray or she was pushed back by Hermann. This started in the second as Martin received her first significant tastes of the set left-right staple dished out by the German. The Colchester warrior took the third round and just edged Hermann in the fourth on my card. Martin not only made the fight, but delivered her right hand in lovely hook and uppercut packages. It was evident that Hermann was at her most dangerous when she forced Martin backwards. The length and power of the import’s jab seemed to perpetually upset the shorter fighter. The long, straight in-coming traffic from the girl out of Offenburg continued in a steady stream. It proved dependable—and successful—all night long. In the fifth, Martin’s head movement returned, and she compensated for taking too many right hands by jabbing well and even turning a jab into a hook halfway through the shot—a lovely punch. In the sixth and seventh sessions, Martin was still taking too many punches. But to her credit, she was making the action more often than not and returning fire. Whilst there was little variety in the pumping action of Hermann’s endless jab/straight right combinations, they were a model of German efficiency.  It was a tough bout to score, and one of those fights in which a hometown advantage is priceless."   (For more  fight photos by Bernard Miller , see Photo Gallery #400 on the WBAN Member Site). Herrmann fell to 5-2-0 (1 KOs) with the loss.

On February 18, 2007 at York Hall in Bethnal Green, London, Shanee lost by a TKO at 0:27 of the seventh round to Oksana Romanova of Minsk, Belarus. The fight was stopped because of a cut over Martin's left eye.  According to a report by Kevin Taylor on BritishBoxing.net, "Shanee Martin was unlucky to get another loss on her record after dominating proceedings against the Ukrainian ...  Martin was badly cut over the left eye, the cut required nine stitches, towards the end of the sixth round from what appeared to be a head-butt, and although first time corner-man Richard Clark stemmed the flow of blood Romanova went to work on the cut with her jab in the seventh and as soon as it opened again there was only one option for referee Marcus McDonnell to take as he waved off the contest in Romanova's favour. The red-headed Ukrainian ... was a class below Martin who fought the whole contest in second gear to build up a big points lead. Martin with her new team of Jason Rowland and the aforementioned Clark, who has given up his timekeepers licence in order to be Rowland's right hand man, was well supported as normal and it's just a shame that the BBBoC's archaic rules mean that she has another loss rather than a win on a technical decision. Clark - although obviously frustrated that Shanee had been stopped due to a cut - was full of praise for the Colchester girl.  “We felt Shanee was boxing well within herself and still built up a considerable lead, I managed to stop the bleeding, but it was a bad cut. She needed nine stitches in the cut and the doctor said it would take around a month to heal.”  Romanova improved her record to 6-9-1 (2 KO's) with the win while Martin slipped to 6-3-0 (3 KO's).

On May 4, 2007 at Arena Savaria in Szombathely, Hungary, Viktória Milo (110½ lbs) of Budapest, Hungary won a very close ten-round split (95-94, 97-93, 93-96) decision over Shanee  (112 lbs) defending her GBU Flyweight Title. Milo was knocked down in the first round, and Martin had a nose bleed from the third round. Milo improved to 18-5 (6 KO's).

On June 29, 2007 at the Midland Hotel in Manchester, England
Shanee (115 lbs) won by points over 36-year-old Svetla Taskova (110 lbs) of Sofia, Bulgaria in a six round bout. Taskova fell to 4-20-1 (1 KO) with the loss while Martin improved to 8-3 (4 KO's).

Co-manager Mark Roe said of Martin “This young girl is the best thing to ever come out of female boxing, we've got some exciting plans ahead ... everyone goes on about Jane Couch, but Shanee, pound for pound is in a different class.”

Susi Kentikian stopped Shanee in September 2007

On September 7, 2007 in Düsseldorf, Germany, Susianna Kentikian of Hamburg, Germany successfully defended her WBA Flyweight title when she TKO'd Shanee  in the third round.  Kentikian dominated the fight with her crisp punching and Martin was bleeding from her nose when the bout was stopped.  According to WBAN reporter Torben L., "Martin was unable to capitalise on her reach advantage. Throughout the first round Kentikian stood her ground, when Martin came forward. She was able to dodge most of the Englishwoman's jabs and countered with her fast combinations, both high and low. Kentikian sustained a cut over her left eye late in the round, presumably caused by a clash of heads.  Round 2 followed the same pattern. Martin tried to keep Kentikian at bay with her jabs, but was unable to deter her smaller opponent, who found and punished the slightest openings in Martin's defence. Kentikian frustrated Martin with double jabs, hooks and uppercuts coming from all angles, and as the round progressed it became abundantly clear that Martin was out of her depth. Kentikian continued the chase in round 3 and caught Martin with some powerful punches during the first part of the round. The end for the brave English girl came 1 minute into the round when Kentikian caught her with a vicious right to the chin, that sent her to the canvas. Martin got up on the count of four; she raised her gloves indicating, that she was ready to continue, but the Italian referee decided that he had seen enough and stopped the fight."  Kentikian improved to 17-0-0 (14 KOs).

On December 1, 2007 at York Hall in Bethnal Green, London, UK, Shanee (113 lbs) and Juliette Winter (5'6", 112 lbs) of Derby, UK battled to a six-round 57-57 draw in an exciting slugfest. Winter moved to 3-5-1 (0 KO's).

On September 27, 2008 at York Hall in Bethnal Green, London, UK, Shanee (113 lbs) TKO'd Roxana Tenae (106¾ lbs)at 1:15 of the first round, dropping Tenae's record to 0-5. Martin's opponent for the scheduled six-rounder had been announced as Elena Miftode of Romania, but photographs taken at the event show that Tenae had substituted for Miftode, who fought Nadia Raoui on another card in Mecklenburg, Germany on that same night. Whoever was responsible for this, the bout was a travesty. As reported by Will Hale of BritishBoxing.Net, Martin's opponent "couldn't fight and barely threw a decent punch. Shanee caught this munchkin woman with almost everything she threw. Thankfully, Mark Green got 'Elena' out of there and put an end to one of the biggest mismatches I've ever seen." Shanee Martin moved her record to 9-4-1 (5 KO's), while Tenae, who has been TKO'd in early in every one of her fights, fell to 0-5.  According to Hale, "Shanee Martin looked the unhappiest winner I've ever seen."

Manami Arima vs Shanee Martin
Manami Arima vs Shanee Martin
© Copyrighted photo by Samart

On February 7, 2010 at World Memorial Hall in Kobe, Japan "Tsunami Tenkai" (Manami Arima), 114 lbs, of Tokyo won her first WBA Junior Bantamweight title defense against Shanee Martin (114 lbs) by a 10-round unanimous (100-90,100-90,99-91) decision. As reported by Joe Koizumi, "It was amazing that Tenkai so finely penetrated the tight guard of the taller and skillful Martin with stinging lefts, left-right combinations and quick combos upstairs and downstairs. The champ had the fading but still game challenger at bay in rounds five, seven and eight. Tenkai tried to finish Martin with a flurry of punches, but the resilient challenger refused to go down until the end."  Martin fell to 9-5-1 (5 KO's) with the loss while Tenkai improved her record to 14-3 (4 KO's).

Shanee works part time as a boxercise and personal boxing coach at LA Fitness in Colchester. Most of her time is taken up with training ... gym work, physical conditioning and running. She says she considers herself fortunate that her family are behind her decision to box professionally, adding that her plans for her boxing career involve "a good time, not a long time". She gives to herself three years to win a world title before she hangs up the gloves.

Shanee believes that things may be slowly changing for women’s boxing in the UK as gyms that once would not let her train now have female boxers, but the pace of progress is still frustratingly slow. She believes that lack of funding and real interest from official bodies in the UK are keeping female boxers there far behind those in Europe and the United States. “It’s not easy for a girl. It’s not easy for a boy either! But to succeed in a male dominated sport takes a lot of guts, especially for a young girl. You have to stick at it and be strong in the face of criticism”.

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Page last updated: Tuesday, 11 December 2012


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