Ebanie Bridges has turned a flamethrower on bitter rival Shannon O’Connell after an explosive fall-out to their all-Aussie world title fight.
The Aussie boxing world champion has celebrated retaining her IBF bantamweight belt by rubbing her opponent’s nose in it after it emerged O’Connell had made a distasteful final gesture before leaving the ring.
Bridges stunned the fight world on Sunday in Leeds when she demolished O’Connell with an eighth-round stoppage.
The all-Aussie showdown turned into a grudge match after Bridges and O’Connell traded barbs in the lead-up to the fight billed as the biggest women’s fight in Australian boxing history.
Bridges had been labelled a “skanky stripper” by O’Connell in the fierce build-up and was also accused of “disrespecting” Australian boxing by staging the fight in the UK where Bridges has a massive fan base.
The 36-year-old former school teacher from western Sydney has thrown the accusation back in O’Connell’s face after the South Australian was spotted sticking her middle finger up as the TKO result was made official in the ring.
Ebanie Bridges is on top of the world. Photo: Instagram, Getty.
It emerged behind the scenes that O’Connell’s gesture was directed at Bridges’ friend and fellow Aussie boxer Skye Nicolson.
Nicolson was commentating the fight and the Tokyo Olympian has been a vocal supporter of Bridges during her rise to the top of the sport.
Nicolson, who recently joined Bridges in signing with fight promotion goliath Matchroom Boxing, said after the fight she was stunned to see O’Connell’s unsavoury act.
“I feel like Shannon just takes things very personally,” she said in an interview shared on her Instagram stories.
“I was cheering for my friend who supports my boxing career. And I support her and her boxing career. I was clapping for my friend while they were announcing the decision. And while she was standing in the middle of the ring she flipped the bird and said “f*** you sl**”.”
She followed it up by saying with a chuckle: “Rude. A little bit personal, but that’s OK”.
The Commonwealth Games gold medallist said after the fight: “Shannon didn’t want to be there from about Round 3”.
Bridges has now taken a swipe at O’Connell with a series of posts on her Instagram stories.
She said in one shared post: “I put her back in her place”.
She said in another post: “Can’t believe Shannon stuck her finger up at @skyebnic Center ring and said ‘f*** you sl**’. Shame”.
She also captioned one photo which showed her landing a power punch square on O’Connell’s chin: “I did it for all those girls in Aus who got s*** decisions against this woman”.
It explains why Bridges didn’t put the beef behind her when interviewed in the ring after the fight.
Ebanie Bridges posted on Instagram.
Ebanie Bridges posted on Instagram.
A jubilant Bridges declared in her post fight speech: “You know what, not bad for a skanky stripper!”.
The quip was in reference to O’Connell’s repeated sledge in the build-up to the fight.
“She can hit. She can bang,” Bridges said.
“She came, she was hungry, she was fierce. But I was better, and that’s why I’m the champion.”
Bridges described the victory as a real “How do you like them apples” moment.
“I’m not usually disrespectful to my opponent but she was so disrespectful to me the whole time,” she said.
Ebanie Bridges lands a punch. Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images.
“I’m very satisfied with that win. I hope the world, I hope Australia is proud of me now. We know who the queen of Australian boxing is.
“I knew it was going to be the hardest fight of my career, and it was.
“Team skanky stripper forever!”
She went on to say: “I gave her respect all the way through as a boxer, I used to look up to her.
“Of course I respect her for the fight she gave, it was a tough fight, the hardest fight of my career, but also one of the best wins of my career and the most satisfying.”
After victory in just her 10th professional fight, Bridges will now look to contest a bantamweight unification fight.
Ebanie Bridges is the new queen of Australian boxing.
Article Source: https://www.news.com.au/sport/boxing/ebanie-bridges-rages-over-bitter-rivals-shameful-final-act/news-story/841889116e50bfc73c3ea69eccc8944e