By: Hans Themistode
Before all of her contests, Ebaine Bridges would strip down to her lingerie and step onto the scale. She was always proud of her curvaceous body and had no problem showing it off. No matter what her detractors said, Bridges assured everyone that she was serious about fighting. After ten rounds with Shannon Courtenay, she proved that she wasn’t kidding.
The two squared off at Copper Box Arena, in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for the vacant WBA bantamweight world title. From the moment the opening bell rang, Bridges walked forward while bobbing and weaving. Her initial game plan worked as Courtenay had difficulty figuring out the rhythm of her opponent.
After warming up, however, Courtenay (7-1, 3 KOs) quickly began outboxing her previously undefeated opponent. The jab of Courtenay was her main choice of weapon as she continually stuck it into the face of Bridges. Still, she chugged ahead undaunted as she ate shot after shot.
While Bridges (5-1, 2 KOs) may have kept up the pressure, her face paid for it as her left eye began to swell profusely. With time winding down in round five, Bridges appeared to be in big trouble as a monster right hand landed and buckled her legs. Bridges began holding constantly as the time ticked off the clock. As she returned to her corner, she was overheard telling her trainers that she could no longer see out of her left eye. Regardless of that, she pushed on.
The loquacious contender finished strong but so did Courtenay as she slipped the oncoming punches and landed several of her own. As their contest came to an end, both women stood in the middle of the ring and slugged it out.
Barely able to see out of one eye, Bridges gave it everything she had but came up short as the judges handed Courtenay the unanimous decision victory and her first world title.