‘Katie Taylor did not pave the way for us to talk about underwear’ – Courtenay on Bridges’ promotion

A fierce row on the topic of how to promote women’s boxing broke out between Ebanie Bridges and Shannon Courtenay this week.

The views of Shannon Courtenay and Ebanie Bridges could not be more different on the subject, with the latter suggesting that her brand is the reason why viewers will tune in to watch the fight for the vacant WBA bantamweight title this weekend.

Bridges has often come in for criticism for weighing in for bouts in lingerie but the Aussie fighter defended her routine, claiming that her aim is to get as many eyes as possible on her fights before showing her technique in the ring.

“Women’s boxing needs more eyes on the sports. We need to do whatever we can,” Bridges said at a pre-fight back and forth with Courtenay. “The reason this fight has eyes on it is because of me.

“What matters is what happens in the ring. But if we can get as many people to watch, then me and Shannon can show that women can fight. That’s my goal, to get people watching.

“Boxing is very important but we need to get more viewers into women’s boxing and I’m willing to do whatever it takes. Winning this world title would show that you don’t have to be like everyone else.”

Courtenay acknowledged Bridges’ desire to pique the public’s interest but the English boxer took umbrage with her opponent’s style of promotion.

Courtenay explained how she wants fight fans to concentrate on female boxers’ performances in the ring rather than how they look on the scales.

“I understand – but I want more viewers for the correct reason. Katie Taylor did not pave the way for us to be talking about underwear,” Courtenay said on Sky Sports.

“I’ve got a 14-year-old sister. My coaches have daughters. I want to be a good role model. Hard work and dedication gets you here, not flaunting your body. That’s my problem with this.”

Bridges vs. Courtenay takes place on the undercard of Conor Benn vs. Samuel Vargas on Saturday night.

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