Shannon O’Connell is “not intimated one little bit” by Ebanie Bridges as the two will fight for the IBF bantamweight world title in what is the biggest female fight in Australian boxing history.
Bridges (8-1, 3KO) defends her title against O’Connell (23-6-1, 11KO) on the undercard of the Josh Warrington vs Luis Alberto Lopez IBF featherweight title bout in Leeds on December 11, with the entire card to be broadcast live on Fox Sports and Kayo.
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Bridges won the title in January when she beat Maria Cecilia Roman on points but has not fought since, while O’Connell returned to the squared circle with a TKO victory over Sarah Higginson in June.
It was as dominant a performance as ‘Shotgun’ could have hoped for after undergoing what she claimed “should have been career-ending surgery” to her shoulder.
But she’ll finally get to lay her hands on Bridges, a long-time and bitter rival, and O’Connell has promised she won’t “back down” when the moment arrives.
“I’m not intimated one little bit by her, by anything she’s got to say,” O’Connell told foxsports.com.au.
“Everything that she’s said about me I’ve laughed it off because none of it makes sense.
“I’m definitely not going to back down, that’s for sure.”
Funnily enough, the two have never met in person.
It hasn’t stopped barrages of verbal warfare being flung from both sides though, as both are desperate to cement themselves as the respective queen of Australian boxing.
Both fighters have charted their own paths to get within touching distance of the throne, but O’Connell isn’t exactly a fan of the one the ‘Blonde Bomber’ has taken.
“She’s doing her, she does things her way, I do them a different way,” O’Connell said.
“I don’t agree with what she does and how she goes about things. She might think I’m stupid for not taking advantage of the fact that it’s easier doing it her way. But I’m trying to build a legacy.
“It’s not a case of getting your clothes off to get what you want. It’s about working hard.”