Brave Aussie boxing star Ebanie Bridges says her “eyes are bigger than my boobs” after she wowed the boxing world in a 10-round world title fight loss to rival Shannon Courtenay.
The Sydney school teacher fell just short of winning the vacant WBA bantamweight crown after a brutal performance that led many boxing commentators to declare she was harshly treated on the official judges’ scorecards.
Bridges was briefly shaken in the fifth round when Courtenay landed the biggest punch of the fight, but it emerged after the fight that it was an accidental head clash that formed an ugly haematoma above her eye.
By the time the 34-year-old walked out for the start of the eighth round, her eye was beginning to close up.
She told her corner at the end of the round that she couldn’t see out the eye — and her courage couldn’t save her from a ninth round beating that left her eating shot after shot.
Despite this, the fighter popularly known as the “Blonde Bomber”, kept coming forward.
The sight of Bridges at the end of the fight showed her face had been disfigured by the injury, looking barely recognisable from the glamorous star who stole the show at the weigh-ins on Saturday morning, stepping onto the scales in black lingerie.
Bridges was smiling as she walked out the ring and continued grinning in photos captured after the fight that showed her eye getting more gruesome by the second.
She was still happy to laugh about it.
“What a war – blood, guts and heart. Not a pretty face anymore. My eyes are bigger than my boobs,” she wrote on social media.
“I love fighting. I enjoy every bit of it.
“What can I say? I didn’t get the W, but I fought my heart out,” Bridges posted on social media.
“I couldn’t see for the last three rounds, but I have no quit in me!
“Congrats to Shanny. It takes two to tango, and I hope we did what I said we would. I showed that pretty girls fight hard too!
“I hope it was entertaining for everyone.”
She walks away with a reputation as a legitimate world-class boxer. A re-match with Courtenay or a future world title fight appear very much in her future.
Bridges lost the fight via a unanimous decision with the judges scoring the fight 97-94, 98-92, 98-92.
The judges who gave Bridges just two rounds have been widely criticised with many commentators claiming Bridges won up to four-rounds – and could have even snatched a draw if the fight had been scored on another day.
She will be back.