Ebanie Bridges Gets A Hard-Fought Victory Over Maria Roman
Ebanie “Blonde Bomber” Bridges’ (8-1, 3KOs) second attempt at the championship did not come without being tested as the IBF bantamweight champion Maria Cecilia Roman (16-6-1) did not release the title without putting up a fight.
In 2021, the Australian suffered a defeat at the hands of Shannon Courtenay for the vacant WBA championship. Despite losing, Bridges showed a lot of heart that earned the respect of the boxing community. After winning two fights in a row, she was given a second bite at the apple against Roman.
Roman was the longest reigning champion of the division, winning the title off of Carolina Duer back in 2017. Furthermore, she fought in the United Kingdom for the first time and had not lost a fight since 2014.
LET THE HANDS GO EARLY AND OFTEN
Fighting in her adopted home of Leeds, Bridges came out fast, throwing the jab and landing power shots over the top of the defensive minded champion. Roman surprisingly decided to come forward in the high guard instead of using her boxing skills.
Bridges continued to throw punches at a fast and rapid rate, landing more rights and left hooks to the body. She took advantage of the defensive shell of the Argentine champion. Roman started finding a home for the left hook and counter right to the body and overhand to head. Moreover, she started moving more in the second half, creating offense and landing good counters.
Bridges was relentless, coming forward and throwing punches in bunches. The challenger’s movement started to slow down as the experience of the champion came into play. Roman began landing with the counter left hook and body shots in rounds six, seven, and eight.
THE SECOND TIME WAS THE CHARM
Down the stretch, it was a phonebooth fight as both fighters tested each other’s will. Bridges kept up the high work-rate, landing shoeshine body punches. Roman was sidestepping the challenger, landing eye-catching right and left hooks to the head.
As the final bell sounded, one judge had it 100-91 as the other two saw it 99-93, granting Bridges the IBF title after a hard-fought battle. The scorecard does not tell the story of how close of a fight it was, as 3Kings Boxing had it a draw.
During the post-fight interview, Ebanie Bridges showed interest in fighting in a unification. She noted either WBA champion Jaime Mitchell or a rematch with Shannon Courtenay, provided she regains the title.
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By: Garrisson Bland