A female boxer Ebanie Bridges known for using her good looks to try to lure more fans into the sport was left disfigured after losing a gruesome 10-round bout.
The Aussie school teacher who is known as the ‘Blonde Bomber’ in the ring, lost her first professional fight on Saturday after going head-to-head with Shannon Courtenay for the world champion title.
Despite a dominant start to the fight, the 34-year-old Sydney-based maths teacher couldn’t compete after Courtenay delivered a brutal blow to the side of her head, leaving Bridges with an immediate and gruesome hematoma injury in her right eye.
When Bridges walked out for the start of the eighth round, the crowd was shocked to see her entire eye had swollen and almost entirely closed over.
She admitted she couldn’t see out of the eye, but her corner controversially agreed to let her finish the 10-round fight.
Bridges continued to cop blow after blow to her head but never stopped trying to take down Courtenay. After the match critics said Bridges undoubtedly proved herself as a legitimate world title contender and commended her bravery in finishing the fight.
Courtenay was unanimously declared the winner (97-94, 98-92) but Bridges won’t be easily forgotten by the judging panel as she begins preparations for her next bout.
The fight, which was on the undercard of the Conor Benn vs Samuel Vargas match in the UK, was heavily promoted in the lead-up.
Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn said Bridges succeeded in living up to the hype she had created through her bold behind-the-scenes jabs at her opponent.
‘Great advert for women’s boxing because we know it’s had a massive build-up – probably the biggest build-up I’ve been involved with in a female fight – but if it doesn’t deliver, it’s no good for anyone,’ he said.
‘It was brilliant from start to finish.’
Bridges antagonized her opposition by arriving at the weigh-ins on Saturday wearing lacy black lingerie to showcase her ripped physique.
Her blonde hair was worn loosely as she posed proudly when her 117 pounds (53kg) weight was announced.
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