Courtenay Beats Bridges On Points
For all the pre-fight talk about other things, Shannon Courtenay and Ebanie Bridges proved that they are real fighters at heart, in a blood and guts world title fight.
Courtenay won the gruelling bloody battle and claimed the vacant WBA bantamweight title, but Bridges more than played her part in another big win for women’s boxing.
The criticism about the fight being for a world title fight was, in many ways, merited. But Courtenay and Bridges, despite both still being at the novice stage, gave everything, and you knew how much the world title meant to each fighter. They may have lacked for experience, but both lacked for nothing in the heart department.
The build-up was edgy, intense and sold the fight far beyond what could reasonably have been expected. It promised plenty, it delivered more.
Courtenay started the better of the two, the fighter with the greater variety, but Bridges was incredibly strong, and looked in periods as though she might pull off the upset. The 7th was the best round for the Australian, as she threatened to overpower the British fighter. A potential round of the year.
Bridges was badly rocked in the 5th, when she looked as though she coming on, and again in the 9th. Lesser fighters would have gone down, Bridges more than proved her worth and her toughness in those moments.
I had it even after 8 rounds, but Bridges badly hampered by a swollen left eye, faded when it mattered the most. The judges scores of 97-94, 98-92 (x2) doesn’t reflect the closeness of the fight.
Rachel Ball could be next for Courtenay, but Bridges based on this performance, will be back. Courtenay has come a long way in her life, and deserves her moment in the sun.
Bridges made the show, and has been a breath of fresh air over the past few months. Some of the build-up masked what she is really about, now everybody knows. Despite losing her unbeaten record, Bridges proved her point.
Courtenay and Bridges clearly don’t like each other, but deep down they are cut from the same cloth. You can not like someone and respect each other at the same time, hopefully, that mutual respect has been earned tonight.
Photo Credit: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing