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There was a war of words at the weigh-in between IBF bantamweight Ebanie Bridges and Shannon O’Connell, and it all stemmed from Bridges’ choice of attire.
The two were on hand for a virtual showdown ahead of their title bout on December 10 in Leeds, England.
Both women hail from Australia but don’t expect them to be sharing a couple of giant cans of Foster’s anytime soon.
During the event, O’Connell took a shot at Bridges for wearing lingerie to weigh-ins and — in her opinion — setting women’s boxing back.
“I don’t like the way Ebanie has gone about things,” O’Connell said. “If you look back 10 years ago … (female boxers) never got recognized, we went on all the amateur tournaments and tours, we paid our own way, there was no respect in the sport for women.
“You don’t think I worked hard just because I look a bit different,” Bridges fired back. “What I do isn’t the same as you? You’re saying I haven’t had it the hard way because I’m just a little bit different?”
“What, because you get your clothes off to be seen?” O’Connell said.
Oh. It’s on now.
The Verbal Sparring Bridges and O’Connell Continued
“I get my clothes off? Sorry, how does everyone else weigh-in in?” Bridges, who moonlights as a financial dominatrix countered. She then pointed out other women had shown up to weigh-ins in lingerie. O’Connell said that it was only because she started the trend.
So she’s a pioneer. That’s a bit of a weird slam, isn’t it?
“I’ve heard interviews where you’re saying you grew up around strippers and stuff, and you’re bagging them out, now you’re acting like one,” O’Connell said. “I’ve got kids. Imagine my 16-year-old son going to school and all his mates passing around that photo of me – there would be punch-ons every day.
“And my daughter is 15, imagine her, me teaching her ‘hey just get your clothes off and you’ll get what you want in life’.”
Bridges shot back. “It’s so 1920s, telling women what they need to do.”
Great boxer and a history buff to boot. That’s Ebanie Bridges for you.
O’Connell went on to criticize Bridges for becoming something of a social media sensation.
It certainly doesn’t sound like these two see eye-to-eye. Maybe some of that animosity will carry over into the ring next month.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle