Ebanie Bridges has had her next opponent confirmed after the IBF named her mandatory challenger.
The Australian, who has the sanctioning body’s belt in the bantamweight division, has held the belt since claiming a unanimous decision victory over Argentina’s Maria Cecilia Roman at the First Direct Arena in Leeds in March.
Bridges is a popular figure in the sport and has been pitted against fellow Australian Shannon O’Connell, with a deadline of September 26 set to arrange the bout.
O’Connell (23-6-1, 11 KOs) is 39 and will be heading into the fight off the back of an eight-fight win streak she extended last month by defeating Sarah Higginson. That first-round stoppage earned her position as the number one contender for ‘Blonde Bomber’ Bridges’ title.
And O’Connell, who was the last custodian of the Commonwealth bantamweight title after beating Taylah Robertson back in October last year, vowed to clinch the bauble in emphatic fashion, should the pair meet.
After the win O’Connell declared:
“I’m the number one in the IBF,
“They should make me mandatory. She’s going to have to fight me, otherwise don’t be a champ.”
Bridges fought 30 times as an amateur – winning 26 times, before turning professional just three years ago. She quickly moved to the UK, upping sticks and making home at Mark Tibbs’ London base where she now trains.
She has a record of 8-1 as a pro since the maths teacher swapped the classroom for the boxing ring in recent years.
But O’Connell is keen to show just what damage she can do to her fellow countrywoman and can’t wait to be given the opportunity.
“Ebanie Bridges pretends she doesn’t know me because she’s scared of me.
“I will punch holes through that girl.”