Shannon Courtenay says Ebania Bridges should put her image aside and focus on avoiding a “one-punch knockout” in this weekend’s world title fight.
Courtenay aims for the WBA belt on Bill Conor Benn vs Samuel Vargas on Saturday, live on Sky Sports, and the British bantamweight admitted his annoyance at Bridges’ pre-fight comments.
The Australian, who often wears a bikini for her weigh-in, insists more female fighters should ’embrace your femininity’, but Courtenay wants to be known only for her boxing accomplishments.
“Let’s talk about the fight, it’s a world title. I don’t mean the underwear,” Courtenay said. Sky Sports.
“If that’s her thing, that’s fine. Focus on it, but don’t try to drag me into it.
“Not the fact that I’m just a boxer, I’m a boxing fan so I’m excited for the fight and I’m sure people, real boxing fans, are excited for the fight. Not the weigh-in.
I want to be a role model for these young women to show them that you can do anything. You can be anyone.
“Who cares what we wear? Who cares? All I care about is putting on my gloves on Saturday night to win this fight and come home with the world title.”
“I have a 14-year-old sister. I want to be a role model for these young women to show them that you can do anything. You can be anyone.
“Let’s talk about how hard work and dedication can get you somewhere. This is what I want to talk about.
Bridges believes she spotted a vulnerability during Courtenay’s shock loss to Rachel Ball last summer.
“She can box, she’s skillful, has a good head movement and a right hand,” said Bridges. Sky Sports. “She’s always been on big maps, so she’s used to it.
“But her defense needs work. She’s been blown off by Rachel Ball and hit a lot in other fights. She’s restless and panicking.”
But Courtenay warned she could bring an explosive end to the fight, having proven her might in a staggering save from Dorota Norek in December.
“If she wants to come fly at me and try to freak me out, that’s fine,” Courtenay said.
“I’m cool, I’m calm and composed, and you’re going to see the calm in the chaos on Saturday night.”
“You’ve seen previous performances that I have power. I might not have all the experience that Katie Taylor or Savannah Marshall have, but what I lack experience is power.
“I hit real hard for a woman and you saw that.
“You don’t often get one-punch knockouts in women’s boxing and I’ve produced quite a few now.
“But I know she hits hard too. Don’t think I’m going in there with a narrow mind, thinking I’m the only hitter. There are two of us. But I know I’m hitting harder.”
Watch Courtenay vs Bridges on Saturday’s Conor Benn vs Samuel Vargas bill, from 7pm on Sky Sports.