Exclusive: Ebanie Bridges dedicated to breaking barriers for women's boxing

"I feel that I’m going against the grain, I’m doing what I want and I don’t give a f**k."

Ebanie Bridges has made it clear - she loves to fight.

The charismatic Australian returns to the ring this weekend at Headingley Stadium to take on Mailys Gangloff.

It is her third bout in the UK but this time it's different - there will be 20,000 Leeds fans inside the stadium.

Bridges returned to winning ways by beating Bec Connolly at Fight Camp via TKO and will now have the chance to showcase her skills on the undercard of Josh Warrington's rematch against Mauricio Lara.

Growing up, Bridges took up mixed martial arts at the age of five and began kickboxing but was unable to fight in her native as female fighting was banned at the time.

After becoming a bodybuilder, Bridges turned to boxing and has won six of her seven pro bouts.

"I love cracking heads," Bridges said when asked why she chose to lace up the gloves. I love fighting because I get paid for it, right? That's it, honestly, I love fighting. I'm a boxing fan, I've loved boxing forever and I just love punching people in the head really," she exclusively told Planet Sport.

"I haven't fought in an atmosphere like this before (in Leeds). The whole reason - beginning of 2020 - I wanted to fight in the UK. I said I was at the Fury Wilder rematch and all the fans were British.

"I was like, I need to fight in the UK and I wanted to fight in front of the fans even if it wasn't for me, I just wanted to be there. Now I'm here and I have that fan base in two years.

"Now it's happening and I can't believe it and for it to be Leeds with Josh Warrington, Katie Taylor, Conor Benn, who I've known from back in Australia, it's unbelievable," Bridges added.

Bridges on Muhammad Ali comparison

Bridges generates a lot of attention at weigh-ins due to the choice of her bikini outfits, something Gareth A. Davies applauded her for.

The respected journalist went on to compare the Aussie to Muhammad Ali for the way she breaks down stereotypes for women's boxing, something which was met by a mixed reception on social media.

"I get what he was saying. Take the Muhammad Ali bit out of the beginning and listen to the rest of what he said and he is right. I feel that I'm going against the grain, I'm doing what I want and I don't give a f**k.

"That's something different, I stand on my feet and I don't let people judge me and I do my own thing. I think I'm a bit of a rebel in that sense but what it's done is, it shows to other people that there's not just one kind of female boxer, there's not just one style of female fighter.

"There's all different and the more we open our eyes to say, 'you can look like this and you can be like this and you can fight'. You don't have to be that stereotypical mould and I think that's the messages I'm trying to send as well.

"I think that's where he (Gareth A. Davies) is coming from. Muhammad Ali you can't compare I would never say that I'm anything like that. I like to wear laundry - why would I go buy some s**t that I'm not going to wear again.

"I think people are so judging of it, it's like it's nothing different to what everybody else does I just happen to look good and have a big chest. I had to go through a lot of s**t like a year of hate because of it.

"I've got a lot of fans but at the same time, people are dismissive because they haven't seen me fight. Then they see you fight and you can look like that and fight. I don't do things on purpose, I do it because it's me. Hashtag be real, be you. No quit, you've seen that it's what I do and I'll continue to do that.

"We shouldn't have to be media trained and judged by our appearances because people say she's blonde and she's dumb. I got a double degree in mathematics - I can box, I can fight and can fight a lot harder than the guys saying that.

"I'm trying to show you, don't judge books by their covers and don't look at someone and make that judgment," Bridges added.

Read more: The Leeds faithful can inspire redemption for Warrington

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