Both Shannon Courtenay and Ebanie Bridges are ready for war with a world championship available to the winner of their clash on the undercard of Conor Benn vs. Samuel Vargas on April 10, airing live on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland and DAZN in over 200 countries elsewhere.
The match-up almost spilled out on social media, too, but Britain’s Courtenay has gone as far as to block Australian Bridges on Twitter in order to focus on training camp. Nonetheless, Courtenay’s words to the official Matchroom Boxing channel were pointed.
“There was no hesitation from me when they offered me the fight,” said Courtenay. “It’s a fight that has been brewing for a while. It’s a fight that the fans want to see. Stylistically it makes for a great fight as well. The fact that it’s for a World Title too makes it an even bigger fight.
“She’s a good fighter. She’s come forward and aggressive. Stylistically it’s going to be a very good fight. I’m going to win. I’m not going to say how I’m going to do it. I’m confident in myself and I’m confident in my ability. It’s evident that I can dig hard. She looks like she can dig hard as well.
“She likes to stand and trade and I like to stand and trade. I just want to fight. I just want to punch her in the face. If she wants to burn her energy and time on social media, then let her do that. If she wants to put polls out about underwear and wear a tiara on weigh-in day then crack on. Fill your boots. I don’t care. I’m there to fight.
“I’ve learnt and adapted lots from my loss. It’s made me a better person inside and outside of the ring. Mentally I’m a hell of a lot stronger now. I was gutted to hear Rachel had pulled out but safety comes first so I wish her a speedy recovery. All that’s changed is the opponent, the outcome is still the same
“This is the fight game. It’s not a fashion show or a catwalk. I’m too long in the tooth to let mind games get to me. She can attempt to push my buttons all she likes. She won’t be fazing me in the slightest. I’m in a very good mind space. I’m content, happy and excited. I won’t be denied on April 10. I’ll do my talking with my fists.”
The quotes came just a couple of days after Bridges said: “I’m definitely being underestimated but that’s great.
“I’m all about shock value. Everything that I do makes headlines, that’s just me. I’m naturally like that, it just happens. When I get in there and throw the first punch of the fight, people are going to sit there and they’re going to be shocked because they have no idea what I’m capable of. I’m not just a Barbie Boxercise fighter.
“I feel like if I beat Shannon Courtenay I’ll go down as a f—ing folk hero in the UK because everyone is DM’ing me asking me to knock her out. They’re all like, ‘hey I’m British and I just want you to shut her up and knock her out because she’s so arrogant’. It’s crazy how many messages I get. I feel like there’s so much pressure on me to f—k her up. Nobody seems to like her over there. If I win, I’m going to be a hero.
“I’m not getting ahead of myself though because I know Shannon is a great boxer. She’s not going to be easy. I’m not going in there thinking this is going to be a walkover. I don’t think that about anyone. Losing is not an option, I’ll find a way. Is she going to be handle what I’m brining? We’re both skilled, both of us have styles that are pleasing to the eye.
“If she doesn’t end up getting knocked out, then by the end of the fight her face is going to end up looking like a smashed crab on a rock. It’s going to be messed up. She won’t be looking the same when this is finished. She’s in for a shock if she thinks I’m only worried about looking good on the scales. When I win that belt, the world is my oyster. It will open up opportunities everywhere.”