Ebanie Bridges vs Shannon O’Connell and More

Battle of Aussies Ebanie Bridges vs Shannon O’Connell in England and More News


By David A. Avila

Two dynamic Australian fighters tangle in England as IBF bantamweight titlist Ebanie Bridges defends against fellow Aussie Shannon O’Connell.

“It’s the biggest woman’s fight in Australian history,” said Bridges.

One represents the new wave of women’s prizefighting that has begun to envelope the boxing industry. The other comes from the generation that held on despite claims that women’s boxing would never sell.

Bantamweight champion Bridges (8-1, 3 KOs) slugs it out with O’Connell (23-6-1, 11 Kos) on Saturday Dec. 10, at First Direct Arena in Leeds, England. DAZN will stream the Matchroom Boxing card.

The perky blonde dynamo Bridges caught the attention of American boxing manager Brian Cohen and then caught the attention of British promoter Eddie Hearn. Fans knew about her via social media, but few had ever seen her fight.

That changed quickly.

Unknown in the prize ring but very well known on social media, Bridges was matched with then bantamweight contender Shannon Courtenay, a rugged British fighter whose prior knockout win over Dorota Norek was a contender for KO of the Year. More than a few fans expected Bridges to become a knockout statistic in their battle for the vacant world title.

That night in April 2021, Bridges and Courtenay exploded against each other with many fans and experts surprised at the ferocity and unexpected skill. The blonde Australian fighter was seen as a pretty, buxom fighter with looks and nothing else. That night she performed at a level not seen from fighters with almost no amateur experience and only a handful of pro bouts.

It was a revelation.

Though the taller Courtenay would prevail and win the WBA bantamweight title by decision after 10 hard fought rounds, it was clearly evident Bridges was not just a looker, but a fighter as well. Her stock soared.

Promoters are always looking for fighters that can sell tickets and capture the attention of fans. Plus, she could fight and with an entertaining style.

“My style is a come-forward aggressive Mexican style,” says Bridges who spent time in Mexico City working with the championship sisters Mariana “Barby” Juarez and Lourdes “Little Lulu” Juarez. “But I’m looking forward to showing what else I have in the tool box for this fight.”

When Bridges challenged Argentina’s Maria Roman for the IBF bantamweight title, once again fans were unsure what to expect from the Aussie fighter last March in Leeds. Immediately the fighter from New South Wales took over the fight with precision, skill and strategy against the veteran with 22 pro fights. Bridges grabbed the IBF title by unanimous decision.

Now Bridges faces fellow Aussie O’Connell 9,440 miles away from their homeland.

O’Connell, 39, has been fighting professionally since 2012 and began as a featherweight but more comfortable as a super bantamweight. She has challenged for world titles three times before including a super featherweight challenge against Diana Prazak, a featherweight bid against Hyun Mi Choi and a super bantamweight attempt against Marcela Acuna. In all three challenges she was defeated but competitive.

This will be her fourth attempt at a world title but first challenge in the bantamweight division. Until December 2020, O’Connell had not fought as a bantamweight since 2017. Her last four fights took place in the bantamweight class as she defeated four rising Australian stars including Taylah Robertson and Cherneka “Sugar Neekz” Johnson.

Now O’Connell meets Bridges and many expect an Aussie war in England.

“She is experienced. Likes to get a bit dirty; tends to come forward and be aggressive. But also waits for counters,” said Bridges about O’Connell.

Few know but O’Connell was close to being signed by Top Rank in 2017. The American promotion company was contemplating signing both Mikaela Mayer and O’Connell. But the Aussie fighter absorbed a big knockout loss to Helen Joseph and that nixed the deal. They only signed Mayer.

O’Connell’s wins over fellow Aussies has catapulted her back into relevancy. But can she handle the world title test. Their battle on social media helped make this fight happen but now the real test emerges on Saturday in Leeds.

Bridges as always, loves to perform.

“It’s been a very exciting roller coaster that doesn’t slow down,” said Bridges.


Tsunami Tenkai

Japan’s former light flyweight world champion Tsunami Tenkai finally returns to the prize ring. It’s been 17 months since her last fight when she was defeated by the great Seniesa “Super Bad” Estrada in a blistering back and forth battle.

Tenkai (28-13-1, 16 Kos) meets Yumi Narita (6-4-3) in a WBA light flyweight elimination bout on Friday Dec. 9, at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan.

When Tenkai fought Estrada in Los Angeles back in July 2021, it was the first time that Estrada has lost more than one round in years. It was also the first time I had ever seen anyone land a four-punch combination on the elusive Estrada. Judges were not kind to Tenkai in that world title loss. Still, she is one of the best kept secrets in women’s boxing and has won world titles in the super flyweight and light flyweight division. She fought Naoko Fujioka to a draw in a flyweight world title clash in 2019.


Maricela Cornejo

Southern California’s Maricela Cornejo travels to South Africa where she will fight Mapule Ngubane in Durban, South Africa on Sunday Dec. 11 for a regional middleweight title.

“I’m excited to get back in the ring,” said Cornejo. “I’ve been in an intense training camp with Jose Benavidez Sr. I feel strong and ready for this title fight.”


Tina Rupprecht

WBC minimumweight titlist Tina Rupprecht (11-0-1) defends against Peru’s Rocio Gaspar (12-1) on Saturday Dec. 10, at Heilbronn, Germany. This will be the fourth defense since winning it on December 2018.

Rupprecht’s been offered unification matches multiple times from both Seniesa Estrada and Yokasta Valle who hold the other minimumweight titles. So far, the fighter known as “Tiny Tina” has not accepted any fights outside of Europe.


Other Fight News


Jasmine Parr (3-0) defeated Nicila Costello (4-3) by unanimous decision after 10 rounds on Saturday Dec. 3. The regional flyweight title fight took place at the Gold Coast. Also, featherweight Natasha Kurene (1-0) beat Bec Rawlings-Rodriguez (0-1) by decision.

On Friday Dec. 9, middleweights Stephanie Mfongwot (1-2) and Millicent Agboegbulen (1-0) meet six rounds at Flemington.

On Saturday Dec. 10, super welterweights Connie Chan (2-3) and Kaitlyn Lodge (1-1) meet eight rounds at Surfer’s Paradise.



Michaela Kostaskova (2-0-2) and Mahjouba Oubtil (4-2-1) fought to a draw after 10 rounds on Saturday Dec. 3. The welterweight fight took place in Vienna.



Daniela Asenjo (13-3-3) won by unanimous decision after 10 rounds versus Linda Lecca (15-5-2) on Saturday Dec. 3. The IBO super flyweight title match took place at Valdivia.



On Friday Dec. 9, flyweights Maraim Gabry (0-0) and Bary Alaa (0-0) meet four rounds at Giza.



Melina Maibaum (4-0) won by decision after six rounds against Oksana Romanova (10-35-1) on Saturday Dec. 3. The featherweight contest took place at Landau.

On Saturday Dec. 10, minimumweights Tina Rupprecht (11-0-1) and Rocio Gaspar (12-1) meet 10 rounds at Heilbronn for the WBC world title.

On Saturday Dec. 10, featherweights Eda Essaoudi (4-0) and Sabine Hempel (0-3) meet four rounds at Dorsten.



Mizuki Hiruta (4-0) defeated Kanako Taniyama (5-2-1) by unanimous decision after 10 rounds on Thursday Dec. 1. The WBO super flyweight world title match took place at Tokyo. Other bouts: super flyweight Marina Sayama (5-4-1) beat Michiko Abiru (4-7) by split decision after eight rounds; super bantamweight Yesugen Oyuntsetseg (2-0) won by majority decision after eight rounds versus Akane Fujiwara (5-2-1); lightweight Wakako Fujiwara (11-3-2) beat Chika  Mizutani (15-8); minimumweights Miyuki Katsuya (2-3-2) and Shuka Furuya (1-1-1) drew after four rounds; bantamweight Nana Yamashita (3-1) beat Ran Higuchi (1-2-2); flyweight Mitsuki Ohashi (1-0) defeated Masako Numakura (0-2); flyweight Hanako Adams (2-2-1) won against Miku Nagasaki (0-2).

Yunoka Furukawa (10-3-2) won by unanimous decision after six rounds against Mont Blanc Miki (4-5-1) on Wednesday Nov. 30. The minimumweight bout took place at Tokyo.

Mayumi Nakano (2-1) knocked out Kagishippo Sachi (2-1) in the third round on Monday Nov. 28. The atomweight fight was held in Tokyo.

On Friday Dec. 9, light flyweights Tsunami Tenkai (28-13-1) and Yumi Narita (6-4-3) meet 10 rounds in a WBA elimination bout at Tokyo.

On Sunday Dec. 11, atomweights Noa Sakamoto (2-0) and Arika Shimono (0-2) meet four rounds at Osaka.

On Sunday Dec. 11, bantamweights Chihiro Takagi (0-0-1) and Megaton Marina (0-0-1) meet four rounds at Kariya.



On Sunday Dec. 11, super flyweights Angelina Lukas (2-0) and Lulu Kayage (8-8-4) meet 10 rounds for a regional title at Almaty.



Lorena Gutierrez (5-0) won by majority decision after six rounds versus Karina Travieso Chavez (5-1) on Saturday Dec. 3. The featherweight match took place at Rosarito Beach.


New Zealand

Holly McMath (1-3) defeated Sarah Linton (0-1) by unanimous decision after four rounds on Friday Dec. 2. The super flyweight bout took place at Auckland.

On Friday Dec. 9, heavyweights Aerie Meleisea (5-1-1) and Sequita Hemingway (1-1) meet eight rounds at Auckland.



On Friday Dec. 9, light flyweights Eveling Ortega (4-4) and Susana Panameno (2-0) meet four rounds at Managua.



On Sunday Dec. 11, super flyweights Olamiposi Kehinde (3-0-1) and Rodiat Yusuf (1-0) meet six rounds at Ogunu.


North Macedonia

Elif Nur Turhan (3-0) knocked out Nikolett Szabo (0-5) in the first round on Monday Nov. 28. The super featherweight match took place at Tetovo.


South Africa

On Sunday Dec. 11, middleweights Maricela Cornejo (15-5) and Mapule Ngubane (10-8-3) meet 10 rounds for a regional title at Durban.



Inthira Pengkrajom (2-0) knocked out Sumanthar Baenkham (4-6) in the second round on Wednesday Nov. 30. The featherweight bout was held at Bangkok. Also, minimumweight Watcharaporn Namphron (4-0) knocked out Chutinan Khonghoi (0-2) in the third round; flyweight Sheau Ru Yang (2-0) knocked out Siritorn Ponpai (0-1-1) in the second round.


United Kingdom

Katharina Thanderz (15-1) won by decision after eight rounds versus Edina Kiss (15-17) on Friday Dec. 2. The lightweight bout took place at Newcastle, England. Also, Sheila Martinez (4-3) defeated Jordan Barker (5-2) by decision after six rounds.

On Friday Dec. 9, featherweights Amy Greatorux (0-0) and Wendellin Cruz (5-4-1) meet four rounds at Barnsley, England.

On Saturday Dec. 10, bantamweights Ebanie Bridges (8-1) and Shannon O’Connell (23-6-1) meet 10 rounds for the IBF world title at Leeds, England. Also, lightweights Rhiannon Dixon (6-0) and Kristine Shergold (7-6-1) meet six rounds; and bantamweights Shannon Courtenay (7-2) and Gemma Ruegg (5-5) meet six rounds.



Beatriz Ferreira (2-0) knocked out Carisse Brown (7-3) in the second round on Saturday Dec. 3. The super featherweight fight was held at Glendale, Arizona.

Veronika Dmitriyeva (1-0) beat Mollie Backowski (0-2) by decision after four rounds on Friday Dec. 2. The bantamweight fight was held at Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Sonya Dreiling (5-3) defeated Chevelle Hallback (33-9-2) by split decision after six rounds on Thursday Dec. 1. The super welterweight fight took place at Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

On Saturday Dec. 10, bantamweights Alexis Mones (0-0) and Devany Torres (2-2) meet four rounds in Philadelphia, Pa.

On Sunday Dec. 11, super featherweights Kalliopi Kourouni (12-3) and Calista Silgado (21-16-3) meet 10 rounds for a regional title at Orlando, Florida.