By: Sean Crose
IBF featherweight titlist Ebony Bridges stepped into the ring in Leeds, England Saturday to defend her belt against Shannon O’Connell in a scheduled 10 round affair. Bridges moved her head well as she came forward in the first, though O’Connell was able to land well herself. In fact, Bridges got wobbled in the later portion of the round. Bridges, apparently with a clearer head, continued to attack her opponent in the second.
O’Connell went down hard at the beginning of the third. The Aussie fighter got up and proceeded to trade with the defending champion. It was a thriller of a round. Bridges herself ended up being briefly wobbled late in the chapter. Both women continued to fire away at each other in the fourth, but Bridges was clearly the stronger of the two fighters, which allowed her to wear her game challenger down.
By the fifth it appeared that neither woman had any intention of slowing down. This was going to be a fast paced affair until the bitter end. With that being said, O’Connell was able to land well without appearing to receive too much damage from the defending champion. Still, Bridges continued to push the attack in the sixth. The pace was slowing a bit, but not too much. The conditioning of the two fighters was extraordinary.
Bridges got O’Connell into a corner in the seventh and did some considerable damage. O’Connell, her eye badly swollen, tried to hold on, but Bridges continued with her assault. O’Connell tried to trade from the middle of the ring in the eighth. Bridges, however, continued to push her opponent backwards. By this point, O’Connell was simply taking a beating. A brutal rally led the referee to step in and stop the fight. O’Connel was certainly game, but she simply couldn’t withstand Bridge’s power and aggression.
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