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Ebanie Bridges will defend her world bantamweight title next month against an Australian rival who has accused her of 'getting her clothes off to be seen'.
The blonde bombshell will face Shannon O'Connell in Leeds on December 10 and the war of words between the opponents has already started. Bridges nicknamed 'The Blonde Bomber' has a huge social media following with almost 550,000 followers on Instagram.
However, rival O'Connell, aged 39, has accused her fellow Australian of damaging the reputation of women's boxing by posing in lingerie during weigh-ins.
"I don’t like the way Ebanie has gone about things," said O'Connell during a virtual press conference hosted by Eddie Hearn on DAZN.
READ MORE: Ebanie Bridges has fans guessing weigh-in lingerie colour as she picks 'sexy' favourites
"If you look back 10 years ago we never got recognised, we went to all the amateur tournaments and paid our own way, there was no respect in the sport for women.
"Everyone has worked so hard to gain that respect. Doing things the way Ebanie has done them has brought back down."
Bridges took issue with the comment replying: "So you don't actually think I'm working hard? You're saying I haven't had it the hard way because I'm just a little bit different."
Do women boxers posing in lingerie at weigh-ins damage the sport's reputation? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section
O'Connell who has been fighting as a professional for 11 years has a record of 23 wins and six defeats with 11 of her victories coming from way of knockout. She added: "Because you get your clothes off to be seen?"
She accused her rival of 'acting like a stripper' and 'trashy' during her pre-fight weigh-ins.
"I've got kids," added O'Connell. "Imagine my 16-year-old son going to school and all his mates passing around that photo of me and my daughter is 15. Imagine me teaching her, 'get your clothes off you get what you want in life'.
Bridges, who used to also work as a ring card girl, added that she was not the only fighter to pose in lingerie at weigh-ins and that her fame had given their fight a bigger platform.
"What is everybody else (wearing at) weighing in," Bridges added. "Claressa Shields gets weighed-in her lingerie and gets her clothes off too.
"If it wasn’t for me you wouldn’t be on this platform, you wouldn’t be seen globally, you wouldn’t be getting the biggest payday of your career. You can say I’ve disrespected the sport but, because of me, you’re here and you’re going to make good money and get people to actually know who you are."
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- Ebanie Bridges
- Eddie Hearn
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