Shannon Courtenay will face Ebanie Bridges for the vacant WBA Bantamweight World Title at a venue to be confirmed on Saturday April 10, live on Sky Sports in the UK and on DAZN in the U.S. and more than 200 countries and territories.
Courtenay (6-1, 3 KOs), who stopped Dorota Norek in seven rounds on the Saunders vs. Murray undercard last time out in December, was originally slated to rematch Rachel Ball for the WBA crown, but her Fight Camp nemesis is still recovering from the effects of COVID-19.
Australia’s Bridges (5-0, 2 KOs) celebrated her return to the ring after more than a year out with a convincing points win over Carol Earl in Sydney. ‘The Blonde Bomber’ won the judges’ favour and secured a unanimous decision victory in Bankstown to extend her unbeaten run to five fights, including two knockouts.
“I was gutted to hear Rachel had pulled out but safety comes first so I wish her a speedy recovery and look forward to when we do have that rematch down the line,” said Courtenay.
“All that’s changed is the opponent, the outcome is still the same and on April 10 I will be crowned World Champion.
“We‘ll put on a great, non-stop action fight for the fans but I’m more determined and focused than ever and that World Title is staying in the UK.”
“I’m very excited to be the first female from Australia fighting on a Matchroom card,” said Bridges. “When Eddie contacted me, it was really unexpected but I’m not going to say no to this chance.
“I was gutted for Rachel as she’s a friend and I wish her well in recovery but opportunity knocks. This is a fight that fans have spoke about for a while now since I moved onto the British scene. I respect Shannon as a boxer, I think we’ll put on a great show but I’ll be the one leaving with the gold.
“This is a huge platform to showcase my skills and who I am, ‘The Blonde Bomber’, to the world. I’ll bring the fight to Shannon – I’m coming to win that World Title, buckle up!”
BRIDGES – I’LL BE A HERO IN THE UK WHEN I BEAT COURTENAY
Ebanie Bridges says she will go down as a ‘folk hero’ in the UK if she beats Watford’s Shannon Courtenay when they clash for the vacant WBA Bantamweight World Title on Saturday April 10, live on Sky Sports in the UK and on DAZN in the U.S. and more than 200 countries and territories.
Bridges celebrated her return to the ring after more than a year out with a convincing points win over Carol Earl in Sydney earlier this month. The maths teacher from New South Wales won the judges’ favour and secured a unanimous decision victory to extend her unbeaten run to five fights, including two knockouts.
‘The Blonde Bomber’ meets ‘The Baby Face Assassin’ on the undercard of Conor Benn vs. Samuel Vargas, and in doing so becomes the first Australian female fighter to feature on a Matchroom show, and the 34-year-old is promising to mark the occasion by landing her first World Title.
“I’m definitely being underestimated but that’s great,” said Bridges. “I’m all about shock value. Everything that I do makes headlines, that’s just me. I’m naturally like that, it just happens. When I get in there and throw the first punch of the fight, people are going to sit there and they’re going to be shocked because they have no idea what I’m capable of. I’m not just a Barbie Boxercise fighter.
“I feel like if I beat Shannon Courtenay I’ll go down as a f***ing folk hero in the UK because everyone is DM’ing me asking me to knock her out. They’re all like, ‘hey I’m British and I just want you to shut her up and knock her out because she’s so arrogant’. It’s crazy how many messages I get. I feel like there’s so much pressure on me to f**k her up. Nobody seems to like her over there. If I win, I’m going to be a hero.
“I’m not getting ahead of myself though because I know Shannon is a great boxer. She’s not going to be easy. I’m not going in there thinking this is going to be a walkover. I don’t think that about anyone. Losing is not an option, I’ll find a way. Is she going to be handle what I’m brining? We’re both skilled, both of us have styles that are pleasing to the eye.
“If she doesn’t end up getting knocked out, then by the end of the fight her face is going to end up looking like a smashed crab on a rock. It’s going to be messed up. She won’t be looking the same when this is finished. She’s in for a shock if she thinks I’m only worried about looking good on the scales. When I win that belt, the world is my oyster. It will open up opportunities everywhere.”
‘The Baby Face Assassin’ meets ‘The Blonde Bomber’
Shannon Courtenay says that she won’t let Ebanie Bridges “mind games” get to her as their clash for the vacant WBA Bantamweight World Title on Saturday April 10 draws closer, with all of the action shown live on Sky Sports in the UK and on DAZN in the U.S. and more than 200 countries and territories.
‘The Baby Face Assassin’ (6-1, 3 KOs) has refused to be drawn into a social media spat with ‘The Blonde Bomber’, despite the 5-0 Australian’s best attempts, and has even gone as far as blocking her on Twitter ahead of their huge showdown on the Conor Benn vs. Samuel Vargas undercard.
Watford’s Courtenay suffered her one and only defeat at the hands of Rachell Ball at Matchroom Fight Camp last summer, a loss that the 27-year-old believes has made her a better person inside and outside of the ring as she prepares to win world honours in just her eighth pro fight.
“There was no hesitation from me when they offered me the fight,” said Courtenay. “It’s a fight that has been brewing for a while. It’s a fight that the fans want to see. Stylistically it makes for a great fight as well. The fact that it’s for a World Title too makes it an even bigger fight.
“She’s a good fighter. She’s come forward and aggressive. Stylistically it’s going to be a very good fight. I’m going to win. I’m not going to say how I’m going to do it. I’m confident in myself and I’m confident in my ability. It’s evident that I can dig hard. She looks like she can dig hard as well.
“She likes to stand and trade and I like to stand and trade. I just want to fight. I just want to punch her in the face. If she wants to burn her energy and time on social media, then let her do that. If she wants to put polls out about underwear and wear a tiara on weigh-in day then crack on. Fill your boots. I don’t care. I’m there to fight.
“I’ve learnt and adapted lots from my loss. It’s made me a better person inside and outside of the ring. Mentally I’m a hell of a lot stronger now. I was gutted to hear Rachel had pulled out but safety comes first so I wish her a speedy recovery. All that’s changed is the opponent, the outcome is still the same
“This is the fight game. It’s not a fashion show or a catwalk. I’m too long in the tooth to let mind games get to me. She can attempt to push my buttons all she likes. She won’t be fazing me in the slightest. I’m in a very good mind space. I’m content, happy and excited. I won’t be denied on April 10. I’ll do my talking with my fists.”