Ebanie Bridges ultimately overwhelmed sport Australian rival Shannon O’Connell in eight rounds. Photograph: @DAZNBoxing
Ebanie Bridges overcame a rocky opening spherical to dominate game-but-overpowered Shannon O’Connell to an eighth-round stoppage within the chief help to the Josh Warrington-Luis Alberto Lopez IBF featherweight title bout on Saturday in Leeds, England.
Within the closing seconds of Spherical 1, Bridges (9-1, 3 KOs) was rocked by a right-to-the-body-right-to-the-head mixture from O’Connell, who had derided her fellow Australian as a “skanky stripper” throughout the buildup to their grudge match.
Nevertheless, Bridges, a late-comer to the game, acquired on her sport in Spherical 2, setting a torrid tempo whereas using good strain that backed O’Connell (23-7-1, 11 KOs) to the ropes the place the previous physique builder frequently landed one-two combos and will out-hustle and out-muscle the taller, rangier fighter.
Even whereas on the again foot, O’Connell was in a position to punch again with authority throughout the early rounds. The bantamweight clashed featured many even exchanges throughout the first 4 rounds. Nevertheless, Bridges’ punches — particularly her straight rights and proper crosses — did extra harm.
A proper hand dropped O’Connell early in Spherical 3, and the identical punch regularly bruised-up her cheekbones and almost closed her left eye. As soon as Bridges stepped up her strain and concentrated a few of her high-volume assault to O’Connell’s physique in Spherical 5, the favored 36-year-old from New South Wales took agency management of the battle.
Bridges continued to again a fading O’Connell to the ropes and into corners the place she would swarm and maul her arm-weary foe. Referee Howard Foster began watching the one-sided motion intently in Spherical 7, in search of the best second to spare O’Connell from undue punishment, and had lastly seen sufficient at 1:45 of Spherical 8.
“Not dangerous for a skanky stripper,” mentioned Bridges, who made the primary protection of the IBF bantamweight title that she gained in March. “I like robust fights. I don’t need straightforward fights. She got here, she was hungry, she was fierce. She will bang. However she was so disrespectful within the construct up, I can’t give her an excessive amount of respect now. I used to be like ‘How ya like them apples?’
“I all the time gave her respect as a boxer. I knew it could be my hardest battle, and it was, however it was considered one of my finest wins and performances.”
In the course of the post-fight interview on DAZN, Bridge’s promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing mentioned he want to see Bridges in 118-pound title-unification bouts going ahead.