Matchroom Boxing has announced that Ebanie Bridges will replace Rachel Ball for a vacant bantamweight title clash with Shannon Courtenay.
Social media is now awash with derogatory comments on how Bridges, an Australian pin-up girl with thousands of admirers, earned a championship chance.
All her victories, including one over the weekend, have come over questionable opposition.
Bridges hold a record of 5-0, although her wins come against opponents with only twelve wins between the five of them.
One was a debutant, while another had just one solitary ‘W’ to her name.
Those criticizing the move have made it clear that they disapprove of Bridges effectively-being gifted the chance.
Nonetheless, ‘The Blonde Bomber’ will battle it out with Courtenay for the vacant WBA strap at a venue to be confirmed on Saturday, April 10.
The contest will be beamed live on Sky Sports in the UK and on DAZN in the U.S. and in more than 200 countries and territories.
Courtenay (6-1, 3 KOs) stopped Dorota Norek in seven rounds on the Saunders vs. Murray undercard last time out in December.
She was initially slated to rematch Rachel Ball for the WBA crown, but her Fight Camp nemesis is still recovering from the effects of COVID-19.
Australia’s Bridges (5-0, 2 KOs) celebrated her return to the ring after more than a year out with a convincing points win over 45-year-old Carol Earl in Sydney.
She won the judges’ favor and secured a unanimous decision victory in Bankstown to extend her unbeaten run to five fights, including two knockouts.
“I was gutted to hear Rachel had pulled out, but safety comes first, so I wish her a speedy recovery and look forward to when we do have that rematch down the line,” said Courtenay.
“All that’s changed is the opponent. The outcome is still the same. On April 10, I will be crowned world champion.
“We’ll put on a great, non-stop action fight for the fans. But I’m more determined and focused than ever, and that world title is staying in the UK.”
Undeterred, Ebanie Bridges is looking forward to competing on a long-promised Matchroom show under Eddie Hearn’s guidance.
“I’m very excited to be the first female from Australia fighting on a Matchroom card,” said Bridges.
“When Eddie contacted me, it was really unexpected. But I’m not going to say no to this chance.
“I was gutted for Rachel as she’s a friend. I wish her well in recovery, but opportunity knocks.
“This is a fight that fans have spoke about for a while now since I moved onto the British scene.
“I respect Shannon as a boxer. I think we’ll put on a great show, but I’ll be the one leaving with the gold.
“This is a huge platform to showcase my skills and who I am, ‘The Blonde Bomber,’ to the world. I’ll bring the fight to Shannon. I’m coming to win that world title. Buckle up!”
Conor Benn tops the bill against ex-world title contender and Amir Khan victim Samuel Vargas.