Team McAleer open to Ebanie Bridges brawl

Kellie Maloney says she would allow Cathy McAleer [4(1)-1(0)] trade leather with Ebanie Bridges [7(3)-1(0)] if proper notice was given.

The Belfast bantamweight has suffered a torrid year with four consecutive fight week cancellations, the latest coming this week just days before a proposed Villa Park Holte Suite clash.

The most recent heartbreaking setback has prompted many to suggest the 42-year-old needs to get busy and should take any big opportunities that come her way.

One potential opponent mentioned was Matchroom’s Aussie star Bridges. Maloney reveals it’s a fight that has been offered twice and one that has been rebuffed twice due to a lack of notice. However, if given a long enough lead into it the manager, who also turned down a clash with Shannon Courtenay for McAleer for the same reasons, would have no issue making the fight.

“I would have taken them if we had been given the right time to prepare for them,” Maloney said when speaking to Andy Waters of the Irish News.

“At this stage of her career, Cathy is ready to step up but we need notice to step up. I have studied Ebanie Bridges and I’m happy for Cathy to take that fight but I want at least five weeks’ notice to train. I don’t want a week or 10 days to take a fight of that magnitude.”

“If they book us long enough in advance, we’ll turn up no problem but you have to prepare for a fight like that. You have to get the right sparring partners because it’s not a learning fight, it’s a career-defining fight.

“We’ve been very unlucky, we’ve had four fights that have fallen through because of Covid and if we’d had them Cathy would have been ready to fight for a title now.”

Speaking on the recent run of cancellations Maloney revealed they were pandemic related, be it with fighters catching COVID or the subsequent issue securing the services of opponents.

Maloney claims they are unprecedented times and suggests the BBBofC need to support smaller shows.

“I’ve never known a time like this,” she adds.

“I’m very frustrated. I’ve never know a situation like this and I don’t think the British Boxing Board has done anything to help fighters who are not signed to the elite promoters.”

“I can’t see it getting any easier to be honest because small-hall promoters can’t afford to run shows and that means fighters’ careers are at a standstill. The problem is that a lot of boxers can’t afford to renew their licences (a cost of up to £700) so that’s why there is a big shortage of opponents.”

“So the Boxing Board and the governing bodies should help the boxers – not everyone is an Anthony Joshua but without the Cathy McAleers of this world, boxing can’t survive.”

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