Shannon Courtenay stands by Ebanie Bridges criticism after memorable world title

Shannon Courtenay still believes that Ebanie Bridges tried to sell their world title clash for the ‘wrong reasons’ but was glad to deliver ‘one of the best female fights’.

Courtenay was crowned as the new WBA bantamweight champion after she defeated Bridges by unanimous decision following a punishing fight at the Copper Box Arena on Saturday night.

The Watford boxer had become embroiled in a heated dispute with Bridges, who wore lingerie to the weigh-in after insisting that more female fighters should “embrace” their “femininity”.

“I still stand by what I said beforehand,” Courtenay told Sky Sports. “I didn’t like the way that she was trying to sell the fight and I feel like she was selling the fight for the wrong reasons, talking about lingerie and things like that.

“But we lived up to the fight.

“I feel like we delivered on the night and everyone is saying it’s fight of the year, one of the best female fights they have ever seen, so we definitely delivered.”

The 27-year-old’s accurate jab and hurtful right hands had repelled the constant aggression from Bridges, who was left with a badly swollen left eye.

“She didn’t hit that hard but she was physically very strong,” Courtenay said.

“But I have supreme fitness. It showed throughout and my conditioning that my coaches put me through won the fight.

“Even in the last round, after what was an absolute war, I was still quite light on my feet.

“I feel like my jab, which managed to open her up quite nicely, and then my fitness is what carried me through.”

Courtenay now expects to battle Rachel Ball again, an opportunity for her to avenge a points defeat last summer.

“Yeah, I think that’s definitely the rematch that I’d like and god willing I come through that, then we’re looking at unifying the division,” she added.

“The last fight, everyone thinks I won it. I thought I won it, but we didn’t get the decision.

“Rachel is a tough opponent, so now I’ve got to get back in the gym and train even harder, so I can make sure I win the fight, and then we can go on and unify the division.”

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