Ebanie Bridges: The Hunter, Becomes The Hunted

Ebanie Bridges: The Hunter, Becomes The Hunted

From being the hunter, in boxing, you quickly become the hunted. Ebanie Bridges is now at that point.

Bridges craved, demanded of herself, to become a world champion. With that obsession now achieved, Bridges will look for more. But equally, the Australian now has a target on her back.

The old rival Shannon Courtenay, who dismissed thoughts of a return until Bridges won her world title, and Courtenay had lost hers, is an obvious fight. But Courtenay will probably need to get revenge over Jamie Mitchell before she is looking across the ring again at Bridges. But does Courtenay really fancy another meeting with Mitchell? I have my doubts.

Another British fighter Ellie Scotney has made no secret of her desire to face Bridges. But that seems unlikely in the near future, Scotney is far more likely to fight for a world title at super-bantamweight.

Another fellow Australian Shannon O’Connell has been more than vocal in her wish to face Bridges. Her interest in facing Bridges is nothing new, but in recent weeks the words have become a little stronger:

“I’m the best female fighter in Australia. Ebanie pretends she doesn’t know me because she’s scared of me. I will punch holes through that girl.” Fresh from her recent comeback win, O’Connell reignited the old flame.

All three and the rest look like having to wait, at least in the short term. Bridges will return in September for a voluntary defence of the IBF bantamweight title she won in March from Cecilia Roman. Bridges will then look to unify the division. The chase for undisputed has begun.

Mitchell the WBA champion and Dina Thorslund the WBO champion are likely to target Bridges, as she will them. All the prospective opponents know what the Australian brings. Money.

But all the interest shows just how far the Ebanie Bridges story has come. It is only just over a year ago that the so-called lingerie model came over to the UK to take on Courtenay with the expectation that she would be sent back to Australia with a little dose of reality knocked into her. But Bridges more than backed up all her pre-fight words, and now her life is very different.

Bridges has never been shy about making the tough painful decisions to enhance her career. Now permanently based in the UK, Bridges has left everything behind to chase more. If anyone thought Bridges would have been happy with winning one world title, they are clearly mistaken. And they don’t know Bridges.

The next year will be interesting, to say the least for Bridges. The IBF may well order Bridges to face O’Connell, or Eddie Hearn might think the rematch with Courtenay is too lucrative to let go. Unifying the division will also occupy the thoughts of promoter and fighter. Bridges will not be short of potential opponents that’s for sure. But Bridges will have a plan. She always has.

Bridges 35, has come a long way since those relentless pandemic Zoom interviews to get her name out into the wider boxing world. There is that rare confidence with Bridges, a real conviction in her words. But I think equally she always wanted a little respect from the boxing masses. An acceptance from them that she could actually fight.

“Firstly, can I just say, can I f***ing fight or what? F*** you guys who think I can’t fight, because I can f***ing fight. I can box.”

Her immediate post-fight words are telling. By beating Roman, and in the manner that she did, Bridges had in many ways, found what she had been looking for. But you have a feeling that she isn’t done yet.

Photo Credit: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing

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