Ebanie Bridges: Who Dares Wins
There is something incredibly fitting that Ebanie Bridges is starring in the latest series of her nations SAS: Who Dares Wins. If Bridges hadn’t dared to change her life, she wouldn’t be where she is now. The story has been told many times, the social media blitz, Bridges is here because she made it happen.
But there has always been more to her story. Getting there is one thing, staying there is another. The Australian looks intent on staying for some considerable time. If there are any lingering doubters, her history should convince the harshest of them.
“I experienced some really traumatic events throughout high school where I was in a very dark place but when I reached 18, I decided to turn my life around,” Bridges told FightPost in early 2020.
There is that rare type of resilience and self-motivation, something that drives Bridges on where many would crumble. There is something about her that just makes you believe. Bridges has a way of convincing you she is capable of just about anything.
It’s been just over 3 years since Bridges made her professional debut in 2019. Very quickly she showed how tough she is. A flash knockdown resulted in Bridges snapping her ankle. She got up, and still won the fight.
“If you know me, you know I don’t quit and I was never going to quit that fight.”
But even her rehabilitation highlighted her determination in many ways.
“After six months into my rehab I got back into training and then I nearly tore my oblique right off my hip bone.”
As her career progressed, overcoming adversity was just part of the course. Fighting with one eye for much of her fight with Shannon Courtenay, then on one leg and with one hand against Mailys Gangloff last September. Nothing comes easy for the born fighter.
Bridges will be hoping for calmer waters when she returns to Leeds next month for her second chance at winning a world title. The long-reigning IBF bantamweight champion Cecilia Roman has been tempted to defend her belt against Bridges.
There were easier fights for Bridges, but she has always fancied a fight with Roman. A belief that their styles will gel, it could be a fight to surpass that titanic tussle that Bridges and Courtenay served up last year when the ‘Blonde Bomber’ announced herself as much more than a social media hype job. Even her critics should give credit where it’s due. Bridges proved plenty that night.
The online presence has helped Bridges to get where she is now, but equally, it hides the fighter that she truly is. A black belt in karate in her younger days, boxing a progression of the heart. The Australian often quotes, ‘I’m not here to fu.k spiders,’ the intent is obvious. The fame is one thing, but Bridges wants that world title. Desperately so.
Leaving no stone unturned, Bridges has again relocated to the UK, aligning with the experienced Mark Tibbs. Without the globetrotting that hurt her against Courtenay, and with a full camp, Bridges should improve on what we saw in her first world title fight. The feeling is she is only just getting started. If Roman is underestimating Bridges, she might be in for a rude awakening.
The passion for her sport gets lost with everything else that comes with the Bridges show. Spend any length of time with her, you quickly realise how much boxing is embedded in her. Make no mistake, and in many ways, she knows boxing. It’s given her something that she hasn’t had before in her life.
Bridges is different, and some can’t see or don’t want to see what she has achieved, and what she brings to the table. Women’s boxing has come a long way in the last few years, and Bridges has played her part in elevating it to where it is now. Bridges promotes herself, but she promotes others and her sport. What she gets, she gives back.
Many people wing it in life, but Bridges has a plan, a purpose. Every move is calculated and has meaning, she is not here by chance. But whatever she has, it probably will never be enough. Even winning a world title won’t satisfy her. Bridges will want more. That drive, determination and work ethic will serve her well in boxing and beyond.