Australia’s Blonde Bomber, Ebanie Bridges, is fighting for the IBF World Female Bantamweight Title this weekend. She faces Maria Cecilia Roman at a Matchroom Boxing event on DAZN. It’s happening at the First Direct Arena in Leeds, United Kingdom.
Ebanie linked up with us here at MILLIONS to talk about the fight, her career, and her recent appearance on the reality TV show SAS: Australia. You can watch the video above, and below is the transcription of the entire conversation.
Shane: I'm Shane Mercer. This is a Millions interview. And I am here with Ebanie Bridges, the “Blond Bomber” from Australia. Ebanie, how are you feeling heading into this really big fight on March 26?
Ebanie: I am excited. I'm feeling pumped. You see, not long now just over a week. Yeah, I feel like everything has come together and I'm just excited to go out there.
Shane: We're going to get into that fight in just a few minutes. But first, I want to go back a little bit in time. just over four years ago that you made your professional debut. Tell me a little bit about that moment in your life when you decided to go pro?
Ebanie: Yeah, I mean, I think it's three years, but it could be, but yeah.
Shane: Was it 2018 or 2019? Sorry, but I might have got it wrong.
Shane: 2019, sorry. Yeah. Three years. Three years, right.
Ebanie: Yeah. Three years. I was like, oh, that went really fast.
Shane: I still got to work on Math. Math was never my strong suit.
Ebanie: Well, I've got three degrees in Math.
Shane: Oh wow, there you go.
Ebanie: Back to my debut, so you want to know how I got into pro boxing? Was that the question?
Shane: Yeah. Tell me a little bit about that time three years ago when you were first making your professional debut, where did you see your career going at that time?
Ebanie: Yeah, I mean, I started boxing I had my first amateur fight five years ago. I was only an amateur for two years. That's because I mainly never really wanted to be an amateur. I really didn't have much interest in amateur boxing, but I was a big boxing fan and just knowing boxing and just, and I suppose maybe thinking, like, smartly, like, I need some practice right before I go into the pros and start throwing around A dance with no head gear on.
But yeah, I was very excited to turn professional because, yeah, I just wanted to get in there and just, like smash people up. Honestly, I love the amateurs, but in the amateurs, like, a lot of fights would get stopped early, and I've always, like, I just want to finish them and stuff. I got really excited with the pros, and also just how you can be an individual in the pros, you can pick your gear and it's your business, it's your thing. I just love all that. So, yeah my debut.
Shane: That's funny. So, you just really wanted to brawl?
Ebanie: Yeah, I just liked hitting people and, like, and I'm hurting things and that sounds really safe sadistic, but no, honestly, I really did, like, I wanted to knock people out, you know what I mean? They didn't want me to, like, hit someone and the ref jump in or you know, like in the amateurs are different, you give them a nice straight shot, they're always stopping the fights. For me, like, I had 30 amateur fights, 26 wins and like, 11 stoppages, which doesn't seem like much. But in the pros, like, I mean in the amateurs, almost half of my wins were stopped early, but for me I felt like that they shouldn't have been stopped or I wanted to keep going. So, like with the pros, like, at least you can actually knock him out a bit more. I don't know. Anyways. Went off track there, but yeah, I’ve look, just like bashing people out.
Shane: Well you've been pretty good at it, I mean, here you are now, this will be your 9th fight. You've got 8 fights under your belt, 7 and won 3 knockouts but you did have that one fight with the loss. Take me back to that moment, that was your first shot at the title.
Ebanie: Yeah, well, that fight. I got a phone call off Eddie like four weeks before the fight asking me if I wanted to have a have a crack. Obviously because I'd already built such a big following in the UK. So I had big fans over here and I was already a rivalry between me and Shannon. So when the opportunity came knocking, of course I was going to say yes. That's why I had four weeks to prepare. I flew straight from Australia to Philadelphia. I did three weeks in Philadelphia, adjusted there and then had to fly to the UK and was there.
So it was a lot of jet setting around. It was a great opportunity for me. I loved to fight. It was a fun fight for me. I had fun one. One eye, and you can still see I was smiling because I just love that kind of fight, the grip and the kind of -- it was a good fight.
Shane: A lot of fighters will always say that a loss isn’t a loss unless it's a learning or -- they want to take away a learning experience from the loss. What did you take away from that loss?
Ebanie: Yeah, I mean to me that like obviously it was a loss on my record, but it wasn't a loss I think of anything I want with that fight big time. Everyone was talking about the Blond Bomber after, and obviously my fan base group, because people actually saw them more than big boobs and lingerie and that I can actually fight and I think that really solidified it. Not just that kid, I can fight and I fight hard and fight like a little blown Mexican but that I have heart as well, and I don't quit. I was blind for those last three rounds and I just kept going and I think that obviously earns a lot of respect from fans. People like to see that stuff. So it was definitely a win for me. Yeah, there's always things to learn in every fight. Even my wins I learned, every single fight you learn, you get better every day. I mean when I learn I get better. It's never ending of learning. If you have your mind open to learning, there's always ways to improve. So win or loss.
Shane: Well, we know you're going to get the W coming up on March 26th.
Shane: We're all rooting for you here at the at the Millions team. But tell me a little bit about your Maria Cecilia Roman and this second opportunity that you're getting at a world title.
Ebanie: Yeah. Look, Maria Cecilia, let's say like a fan, but I've always enjoyed watching her fight. I like the way she fights. In a couple of years ago, I've seen her fight and I'm like, I would love to have that fight. It was never purely like, obviously I want the belt. But I was like, because I like to have good fights. I was a boxing fan before I was a boxer, you know what I mean? I just like to have good fights and she was a kind of fighter that she would sit there and she'd go toe to toe and sit in the pocket with you, like, proper South American styles. They’re the kind of fights that I like, and I haven't been able to have much of that kind of fight because of the opponents that I’ve fought. Then don't really sit and trade with me. So I get really excited about that fight with her because I'm like, oh, this could be a fight, but she also can box as well. She's been longest reigning champion in the division. She's been I think a champ for over five years, this will be her eighth try to title defense.
So I've definitely challenged myself with the highest rated, longest reigning, most experienced champion in the division which that really excites me and it really inspires me, you know what I mean? I'm not saying that the other champs really any lesser, but when you're fighting someone, who’s just been a champion for a year or just haven't defended it or you're fighting for a vacant title, it's still amazing, don't get me wrong. But to be able to fight like the champion and like a long reigning champion and you know, God willing, I believe that I win that fight, I think for me it would be even more of an achievement in my eyes.
Shane: It'll certainly be a big achievement. I mean, any world title is a huge achievement.
Shane: Absolutely. You changed up your training a little bit and you've teamed up with Mark Tibbs. Tell me about that.
Ebanie: Yeah. Well, like I said, my first of all title fight, I jetsetter around three countries in three weeks, and I had to go traveling 26 hours or 30 hours and then another 15 hours. It was a lot of traveling and time adjusting and jet lag in a couple of weeks. Here in the UK, all my sponsors are here, I fight here, my biggest fan base is here, so it just made sense for me to get here and settle and train with a trainer here and just cut out all that other stuff that wasn't necessary. Like my training in America is amazing. In Philadelphia, I've been doing my last four fights, but I just think that just for me to try and just get that a little bit more edge and not have these little things that could be detrimental, it was very important for me to do my whole camp here and obviously to team up with someone like Mark Tibbs who has so much experience in high level fights, has some great fighters, male fighters as well. Also his father Jimmy Tibbs, which is like a history of experience here.
So it's just great. I've worked really well and I'm feeling very confident. I've learned a lot and I'm really excited to get in there next Saturday and put it all and show for everyone.
Shane: Yeah, well, I know that. We're looking forward to it. I think a lot of the fans are looking forward to it. What would you say the fans can expect?
Ebanie: What they can always expect when the Blond Bomber fights, excitement. It's always going to be exciting. So yeah, like, I mean, it's never going to be short of any of that. Might be drama. Hopefully no injuries and hopefully knock out and to get my hand raised. But either way you're definitely going to see a lot more fine tunes. I think Blonde Bomber and it will be exciting because Cecilia Roman’s a great fighter, she's a great champion and I know she'll be coming there to do is to keep her goal as well. So we're both fighting for our lives, our futures.
Shane: Well we’ll be definitely looking forward to the fight. I want to ask you about something else, not fight related or maybe it is related to your training in some way. SAS Australia, this is now for a lot of us in North America may have no idea what this is. So just give me an idea of what is SAS Australia.
Ebanie: So the SAS is like, you're like actual SAS is like the Australian or British version of like navy seals or seals, you know what I mean? So there are special forces, kind of, the elite of the elite. What it is is, it's a show that guests, celebrities, and they put us through like hell week or whatever that you would do for the seals or something like that, and they put us through that kind of training for two weeks every day. They try and break you mentally, they try and break you physically. Yeah, it's just about putting you through all this army training and obviously learning about yourself mentally and physically and pushing through pain, pushing through barriers, pushing through all kinds of things, fears, a lot of fears. I don't have too many -- but I mean, other people like heights and like things like this, you know what I mean? Like it's just overcoming things and making you quit. That's what they're did. Their goal is to make you quit really. And yeah, it's not whoever makes it -- it's kind of whoever makes it to the end wins, right?
So I mean, and actually even if you get the end you still have to be selected. So you can still be resilient and we're good enough to make it to the end, but then you might not get selected as what they would do the same with the seals selection or something, you know? But yeah, it's pretty much what it is. It's pretty much torturing us for two weeks and trying to make us quit, calling us names, and making us feel whatever. But yeah.
Shane: It sounds both very intense and kind of terrible. Like why would you want to do this?
Ebanie: I'm a sucker for pain. Like I got punched in face for all you know. But I, look I loved it. Absolutely loved it. I loved pushing myself. I love challenging myself. Obviously I pushed for a lot of pain and a lot of adversity in my fights. My last I think maybe 2 fight, 3 fights that I had I haven't been injured, but I'm always pushing through stuff and I just wanted to test myself outside of the boxing ring and see if I had the same tenacity and the same no quit attitude outside of the ring, which I do.
Shane: So then tell me, how would you describe your performance? Where you happy?
Shane: Were you pushed to your limits?
Ebanie: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, definitely was pushed. Yeah. I think the hardest part for me about the whole course was first couple of days was a little bit emotional for me with the failing stuff. For example, like a task they'll ask you to do right, and I've never obviously never done it before, because it's not what I do, and then I might not do it right, or might not do it perfect, you know what I mean? And for me that really got to me because I don't like -- it's not that I don't like failure because I can fail and I can lose. But then in boxing or in life you can get up and try again or you can do that thing again or the next day you go into training and whatever. But with these ones, it was like, yeah, one shot and then if you don't get it done, and it's like, well, that's it. You can't go in the next day and go I'll do it better because I learned how to do it wrong. I mean, I learned how not to do it.
So that was hard for me because it was like, oh man, I just want to prove myself, like, I'm like, now I know how not to do it, like, I want to have another crack. So that bothered me a little bit, and I had very high expectations of myself, and they were like you haven't done all this stuff even you and you're like you can't be perfect, and I've literally never done it before. I'm like, I don't care. Like, it's not good enough because I found out, well, obviously, I found I'm very hard on myself because a lot of the other people were just like, but you did it and you're still here, and they will be like, I'm just happy that I'm still here. I thought I would have quit. I'm like, well, I know that I won’t quit, I knew that I'd still be here and I knew that I would do everything that they put in front of me that I would attempt it.
So me, just attempting it, for me just being here isn't good enough because I already knew that I would do that. It was like, I wanted to be good at it, you know what I mean? Because the levels, the standard I have for myself which was a little bit unrealistic at times. But now, look, it was good after the first couple of days and all that kind of stuff just getting my head around not being perfect at everything and then I was all right. But now, it was great. It was really good. Meet some great people. The DS, so the guys that run like Ant Middleton and Ali Alton and some of the other guys, Clinton, Dean so amazing, amazing guys, some amazing stories and just how motivating they are, they’re incredible humans and it was great to be yelled at by them, but at the same time you learn a lot.
Shane: What would you say that you learned or what did you learn about yourself maybe that you didn't expect?
Ebanie: Yeah, I got to learn that I just got to take it a little bit easy, you know what I mean? Don't be so hard on myself. I'm really hard on myself. Really, really hard on myself. I know I am a little bit like here, even with boxing, I'm just like that and if I wasn't, I feel like I wouldn't be constantly pushing to be better. I'm never complacent. I always like the underdog mentality, you know what I mean? That I'm never, never really good enough, you know? Like I know I'm good enough, but like I still got that little edge, like I need to do this and that but not like beat myself up about like. Do you know what I mean?
Ebanie: Yeah, because that obviously that negativity towards yourself is not good. But generally here at home, I might get to be upset about like a shit session or whatever, but then I'll go on my phone or I'll fucking do something else where it distracts me from the thoughts of that. And then the next session I go out and smash it. But in that you've got no phone, you've got no distractions. You literally just in this camp, and all you've got is your head, your own head. So it was really interesting. But there was no way to distract yourself from your own thoughts. So yeah, it was interesting.
Shane: It sounds like an incredible experience.
Ebanie: Definitely an incredible experience. And I mean, I know that there was some people on there that obviously they're not like athletes and they're not boxers and they wouldn't usually go through adversity of pushing themselves. I pushed myself in my fights in my training beyond all the time. So I'm always like at that mindset that like, like I snapped my ankle and my first on my pro debut, I snapped my ankle and I got up and I kept fighting for another three rounds. And I had surgery was out for eight months because I snapped my ankle and I fought on it. But that was a mindset thing. I'm like this pain is just blocking out and just get the fight done and I could walk after. But some people don't, normal people, some people wouldn't maybe do that. So when they're in a course like this where they're getting literally their bodies are breaking and their mind's telling them to quit, but then they pushed through that they realized, hey, it is in your mind. You get your body can go so much further than your head is telling you.
Or like people that have fears for example, fears of heights and things like this, when they actually do it, that feeling like is incredible. I'm not sure. I didn't get to get that because I don't really have a big fears of things, but some of these people that I've seen on the show like, wow, I mean the fear that they had and I'm looking at them thinking and when they did it, I think, wow. Like, amazing, I was so I took my hat off to them and you feel so proud because you can see they’re generally like so scared shaking and they still do it. Like imagine being so scared and then pushing yourself through it. I think that kind of stuff is definitely life changing, you know what I mean? So it's just definitely great. I mean anyone should try and not do some extreme things but always try and push yourself beyond your mind, you know?
Shane: Okay. I've got to ask you about this because I saw it and I was like, what's going on here. Socks, tell me about the socks situation because something came out about socks on this show and you think you might be able to sell your socks from the show? What’s up with that?
Ebanie: Yeah, definitely. I mean the whole socks selling things pretty old, just about two years old now. I've been selling my socks for a few years. But yeah, I mean people just want to buy my dirty socks. Some people they’re into the sock fetish and I sold my dirty socks for $1,000 and my SAS socks because I wore them every day for like two weeks. I'm pretty sure that they will go for a lot. So I'm looking for $5,000 if anyone's looking, that's the starting bid.
Shane: Starting bid is $5,000 for your dirty socks from this --.
Ebanie: From SAS. Yeah.
Shane: Well, good luck to you on that. I hope you get what you're seeking.
Ebanie: I’m sure I will. I've sold a pair of normal training socks for $2,500. I think I can get 5K.
Shane: Wow, unbelievable. People are crazy, aren’t they ey?
Ebanie: Yeah. Crazy. Hey, good money for me.
Shane: There you go. Alright, very quickly. I want to ask you final question here. You just joined our platform Millions.
Shane: Not too long ago, last month, but just overall, what's your experience been like so far?
Ebanie: Amazing. You guys are so, so good, so obviously supportive and just like you've got such a big network of people from all over, all different sports. It's just great to be part of such a kind of innovative platform that's wanting to do things for athletes and want to do things for athletes’ fans, the fans as well. Getting us to connect with our fans and I think it's just great. So yeah, I'm excited. I'm really excited to push it more forward and get more people on board.
Shane: Well, we're excited to have you. This right here, this is a way that we help fans connect with athletes through interviews like these and we're looking forward to talking to you more in the future and I just want to say thank you so much for taking the time out to chat with me and wishing you the best of luck.
Ebanie: Thank you. And you.
Shane: All right. Let’s get it.