Ebanie Bridges: A Period Of Rest, Before What Comes Next
Life never runs in straight lines, in boxing, even less so. There are many chapters in every career, and for Ebanie Bridges, a new chapter is about to begin.
Bridges has sold her story to get where she is and pushed herself hard, maybe a little too hard, the body and mind are now in need of a well-deserved rest.
But the self-promotion has served its purpose, her life is very different to what it was this time last year. Some may resent, hate even. But the bitterness would be better served in learning from what Bridges has done.
The next chapter will be written in the coming months. A period of rest and recuperation will now follow. Journalists will need to understand her time will be a little more precious now, time will not be given as easily. Bridges has given plenty, too much. Now those that have thrived, will need to understand and give space.
Bridges has suffered since her win over Mailys Gangloff earlier this month. An extended stay in hospital, the body finally saying enough is enough. Thankfully, Bridges is on the mend, her quarantine isolation is days away from ending. Bridges will then have a chance to reconnect with family and friends. Six months away, a painful sacrifice in pursuit of what she craves. Chasing glory comes at a price.
The win over Gangloff was for me, her best win yet. Even more so when you consider the adversity Bridges had to overcome in Leeds. The right hand was gone minutes into the fight, she blew her calf soon after. Bridges yet again showed heart far beyond the call of duty. Gangloff was no walkover, a much better opponent than many who should no better thought.
Many questioned the scoring, but this was no robbery, Bridges edged it. It was fair and reflective.
The progress has been swift, Bridges has fought for a world title. She came close to winning it. Despite the horrific eye injury, Bridges pushed Shannon Courtenay hard. After 8 rounds it was still an even fight. Again no robbery, but the scoring looked a little off, the judges had it wide. It was anything but.
A good hard fight that served notice that Bridges was way more than the lingerie model she was widely portrayed as.
A statement-making stoppage win over the tough and fully prepared Bec Connolly in August convinced many that doubted before. Beyond the show, Bridges has proved that she can really fight.
Bridges will likely leave one isolation for another. Her mandated quarantine will soon end, but Bridges will take a break from her life of the past year. A chance to recharge, before what comes next.
A big fight will follow when she returns. Bridges wants the return with Courtenay. With a full camp, Bridges is the one who will improve more from their classic first encounter. That particular story has far more to give. They might not like each other, and trust me, this is no fake beef, but Courtenay and Bridges have each gained plenty from their rivalry. Their sport needs another chapter.
Bridges has fought four times in six months, a relentless grind that has undoubtedly taken its toll. There will be that rest period, but even in silence, Bridges will be plotting and planning what comes next.
In a time of restrictions, Bridges has shown that nobody should be restricted to what they can achieve. If you have a dream then go out and get it. It’s not just about winning for herself, she wants to inspire others.
“I think it is very important to influence youth because they are our future.” A part of the Bridges narrative that few will tell.
Every story has a beginning, a middle and an end. Bridges will now enter that middle stage. She is only 8 fights in, still learning, ever-improving. Eddie Hearn will deliver the opportunities when Bridges makes her return, Courtenay or not, we have many chapters remaining.
Photo Credit: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing