Shannon Courtenay fears Ebaine Bridges is undoing the sensational work done by Katie Taylor heading into their Sky Sports broadcast world title fight tomorrow.
The Irish sensation has proved a boxing trailblazer and post revolutionizing the amateur game has inspired a complete pro transformation.
The London 2012 gold medal winner and reigning undisputed lightweight world champion has proved female fighters can be just as talented, entertaining and popular as their male counterparts.
Taylor’s skillset, entertaining style and all-around approach has seen her become a massive boxing draw and as a result, she is credited with being the driving force behind the creation of the current healthy state of the female game.
One of Ireland’s greatest ever sports stars has inspired a generation of female athletes and cleared the pathway to success for boxers.
One of those punchers grateful to Ireland’s most decorated fighter is Courtenay, and she claims her opponent’s behaviour heading into Saturday’s WBA world title fight is two fingers up all Taylor has done for women in the sport.
Bridges has encouraged female fighters to “embrace femininity” in the build up to a world title shot some suggest neither have as of yet earned, and discussed what lingerie she would wear for the weigh in.
It’s talk that has irked Michael Conlan’s gym mate Courtenay, who wants the fight to be the talking point and bringing Taylor into ‘underwear gate’ she claims the Australian’s approach undoes some of the good work down by the sports leading lady over the last five years.
“I want more viewers for the correct reason. Katie Taylor did not pave the way for us to be talking about underwear.
“I’ve got a 14-year-old sister. My coaches have daughters. I want to be a good role model. Hard work and dedication gets you here, not flaunting your body. That’s my problem with this.”
Courtenay, who like many used boxing to change her life, has always been vocal about how Taylor’s success has allowed others to forge a career in the sport.
Speaking previously she said: “If it wasn’t for Katie then I wouldn’t be here because she has paved the way. Because of her, I’m on a massive platform because women’s boxing is taken more seriously.”
Wicklow’s Taylor returns to the ring in just over two weeks, fighting for the first time in 2021 the two weight world champion takes on old Olympic rival Natahsa Jonas on the undercard of Derek Chisora and Joseph Parker’s PPV heavyweight clash.