Aussie boxing star Ebanie Bridges has no issues stripping off before big fights, revealing why she regularly rocks racy lingerie.
Ebanie Bridges is bringing glamour to boxing inside and outside of the ring.
The outspoken, criminally underrated Aussie boxer, 35, emphatically saw off Maria Cecilia Roman last month to become IBF champion — and silence her critics.
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It capped off a remarkable journey that began in 2016 as an amateur — but even then Bridges knew she was destined for the top, despite her relatively late start to the game and her first fight being just weeks before her 30th birthday.
“When I first started out, I knew I wanted to be a world champion. That was my goal,” she exclusively told The Sun.
“And during the training camp, I already believed I was going to be.
“It wasn’t a shock (when I won), because I already felt like a champion. I made myself believe it.”
But before she defeated her Argentinian foe by unanimous decision after 10 gruelling rounds to become world champ, Bridges’ looks brought her fighting ability into question.
Her weigh-ins have become legendary among boxing fans — with her choice of lingerie making promoter Eddie Hearn blush.
But after her famous victory over Cecilia, Bridges let her critics who saw her just as the pretty face of women’s boxing have it. She roared in an interview ringside with DAZN: “Can I f***ing fight or what?!”
Not that proving her doubters wrong gave her extra motivation.
“People use different things for motivation. I don’t use people’s hate or disbelief of me to motivate myself,” Bridges said.
“A lot of people want to prove people wrong, but I’m not like that.
“It wasn’t the motivation for my fight, but when I did win — and I beat the longest reigning champion in the division decisively — it was a very sweet f*** you.
“You can’t say I can’t fight now. I put on a masterclass in boxing.”
‘I got paid to show off my banging body’
From the young age of five, Bridges was obsessed by combat sports. She took on martial arts, including karate, which she has a black belt in.
Boxing was her No. 1 passion and growing up she loved watching Mike Tyson and Kostya Tszyu in action.
Desperate to be involved in fighting, Bridges took a job as a ring girl and continued to train religiously.
Bridges said: “I wanted to be in the fights, but wasn’t allowed. So instead I got paid to show off my banging body.
“Then I started doing competitive bodybuilding all the way through my 20s. By that time, combat sports for women became legal.
“I liked punching people up, so it made sense for me to make the transition to amateur boxing.”
Bridges fought 30 times at amateur level — winning 26 times, before turning professional just three years ago.
Alongside her sporting ambitions, she earned a degree in maths and a Masters in teaching, swapping the classroom for the boxing ring in recent years.
“It’s not just about boxing. It’s about setting your goals and achieving your dreams, so I feel like I’m setting example for my students,” she said.
“To see their own teacher at this level and working hard, and also someone who has already done three degrees and a Masters, shows them that education is important.”
Bridges opens up on love of lingerie
Bridges’ rise to the top hasn’t been without its sacrifices. Her path to success has been helped by training in England’s boxing gyms.
She is a 24-hour flight away and nine-hours behind in time from her family and partner when she’s in the UK, where her highest-profile fights have taken place.
Her popularity in the UK knows no ends, as is proven by the seven million viewers that tune in to watch her famous weigh-ins.
Dressed in underwear, Bridges makes no apologies for who she is and what she wears.
She said: “Why would I go and buy f***ing underwear that I would never wear again?
“And because everyone else wears Calvin Klein matching underwear, should I go and buy the same? No way!
“I want to wear underwear that I actually like. I was also a bodybuilder for 10 years of my life, so I would stand on stage with a G-string, flexing, posing and looking pretty.
“For me, wearing a nice matching lingerie set is just like wearing a bikini like I did on stage. I am standing there owning what I look like, and showing off my body that I’ve worked so hard to get.
“I want to be myself and go and enjoy that one moment. A weigh-in for me is like a bodybuilding competition. I do my hair and make-up, wear a cute little G-string, and smile for the cameras.
“It has absolutely nothing to do with, ‘Oh, this is going to sell (fights)’. Thankfully it does. What I like to do sells. How I like to fight sells. But it’s just me being me and doing what I want to do.
“I push that message. Be you, be real. It’s not female empowerment. But I’m not hiding my femininity because I’m in a male-dominated sport.
“People think it’s me wearing lingerie that fans want to see, but it’s not the lingerie that gets the seven million views.
“It’s the whole thing. The way I move, the confidence I have, because I am an ex-bodybuilder and is what I do naturally. “I do it because I f****** love it.”
This story first appeared in The Sun and was reproduced with permission