Ebanie Bridges' 21-month reign as IBF bantamweight world champion is over after the Aussie boxer was beaten unanimously by Miyo Yoshida on Saturday. Fighting on the undercard of the WBC super lightweight title fight between Devin Haney and Regis Prograis in San Francisco, Bridges was outmatched and outpunched by her Japanese opponent from the get-go.
The Aussie - dubbed the 'Blonde Bomber' - was originally slated to fight compatriot Avril Mathie, who withdrew at the last minute due to injury. Yoshida - who is mostly an MMA fighter - stepped in at the last minute and stunned the boxing world after a staggering performance against Bridges.
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Yoshida (17-4, 0 KOs) won by unanimous decision, with the judges scoring the fight of 99-91, 99-91 and 97-93 in her favour. Bridges (9-2, 4 KOs) entered the ring as an overwhelming favourite, but appeared to struggle against Yoshida's style.
The 37-year-old has now lost the IBF bantamweight championship she won when she beat Maria Roman unanimously in March 2022 in England. Yoshida landed 122 power punches compared to Bridges’ 66 in a telling statistic that summed up the fight.
“This was supposed to be an exhibition fight for Ebanie Bridges in the United States,” one commentator said on DAZN. “This has been a disaster for her.”
Bridges hadn't fought since December of 2022 - her only other title defence against Shannon O’Connell. In contrast, the 35-year-old Yoshida had fought as recently as November when she lost a 10-round unanimous decision to Shurretta Metcalf (13-4-1, 2 KOs).
"Absolutely gutted, it wasn’t my night," Bridges later wrote on social media. "Big congrats to my opponent, she was the better fighter tonight. Beautiful and humble, single mother. Seeing how much that win meant to her and her daughter did give me some warmth inside.
"A loss doesn’t define me. I have no quit. It’s all learning and I’ll be back better and stronger. Thank you to everyone who supports me. I love you all."
Ebanie Bridges loses world title after backlash over outfit
Speaking last week, Bridges hinted that she was on the cusp of retirement. The former Sydney school teacher is sponsored by Conor McGregor’s 'Forged Irish Stout' label and is making moves to set up her career after boxing.
"I'm a face for Forged Stout now," she said. "I can learn a lot from him as well for when I finish boxing – and what he’s doing in business, I think is really inspiring. He's smart getting into boxing because if you think about it, there's fights nearly every weekend. He's sponsoring the shows and he sponsors a lot of other boxers."
Bridges' loss comes after she once again raised eyebrows with her attire at the weigh-in. The Aussie wore a racy blue lingerie set as she stepped onto the scales in complete contrast to what Yoshida was wearing.
Some labelled her a "disgrace" and "disgusting" for the outfit choice, but Bridges has explained her reasoning in the past. “For me, wearing a nice matching lingerie set is just like wearing a bikini,” she said last year.
“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 body-building 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.”
lol @EbanieBridges was to worried about her outfit for the weigh in than the fight 😂😂
— Oinky (@peapeapoopoop) December 10, 2023
match clothes should be worn at the weigh-in.
if you're wearing an outfit like that, you have to wear it as well in fight.
— Depa (@depatsu) December 10, 2023
Joke fight. Was God awful.
— BDGD67 (@BDGD678) December 10, 2023
Ebanie Bridges is awful 😂 Yoshida never KO’d anyone and has a serious lack of power but Bridges is feeling every punch and seems incapable of moving her head 😳 #DAZN
— Luke Pothecary (@LukePoth123) December 10, 2023
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