Shannon Courtenay says Ebanie Bridges should forget about her image and focus on avoiding a one-punch KO

Shannon Courtenay says Ebanie Bridges should forget about her image and focus on avoiding a “one-punch knockout” in this weekend’s world title fight.

Courtenay targets the WBA belt on the Conor Benn vs Samuel Vargas bill on Saturday, live on Sky Sports, and the British bantamweight has admitted her annoyance at pre-fight comments from Bridges.

The Australian, who often wears a bikini for her weigh-in, insists more female fighters should ’embrace your femininity’, but Courtenay wants to be known purely for her boxing achievements.

"Embrace your femininity. Why should we push it to the side because it's not respected?"@EbanieBridges interview on challenging preconceptions | by @JamesDielhenn

“Let’s discuss the fight, it’s a world title. I don’t want to discuss the underwear,” Courtenay told Sky Sports.

“If that’s her thing, that’s fine. You focus on that, but don’t try and drag me into it.


“Not the fact that I’m just a boxer, I’m a boxing fan, so I’m excited for the fight and I’m sure people, genuine boxing fans, are excited for the fight. Not the weigh-in.

“Who cares what we’re wearing? Who cares? All I care about is putting my gloves on, Saturday night, winning that fight and walking home with the world title.

“I have a 14-year-old sister. I want to be a role model for these young women to show them you can do anything. You can be anyone.

“Let’s talk about how hard work and dedication can get you somewhere. That’s what I want to talk about.”

Bridges believes she has spotted vulnerability during Courtenay’s shock loss to Rachel Ball last summer.

“She can box, she is skilled, has nice head movement and a right hand,” Bridges told Sky Sports. “She’s always been on big cards, so is used to that.

“But her defence needs work. She got dropped by Rachel Ball and hit heaps in other fights. She gets flustered and panics.”

A post shared by Shannon Courtenay (@shannon_courtenay)

But Courtenay has warned that she can bring an explosive ending to the fight, having proved her power in a stunning stoppage of Dorota Norek in December.

“If she wants to come flying at me and try and make me panic, that’s fine,” said Courtenay.

“I’m cool, I’m calm and collected, and you’re going to see the calm amongst the chaos Saturday night.

“You’ve seen from previous performances that I have power. I might not have all the experience that the likes of Katie Taylor or Savannah Marshall have, but what I lack in experience, I have in power.

“I hit very hard for a woman and you’ve seen that.

“You don’t often get one-punch knockouts in women’s boxing and I’ve produced quite a few now.

“But I know that she hits hard as well. Don’t think I’m going in there with a narrow mind, thinking that I’m the only puncher. There’s two of us. But I know I hit harder.”

Watch Courtenay vs Bridges on Saturday’s Conor Benn vs Samuel Vargas bill, from 7pm on Sky Sports.

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