Ebanie Bridges could secure three more fights in 2022 as Hearn plots career path

Eddie Hearn could plan three more fights in 2022 for newly-crowned IBF bantamweight champion Ebanie Bridges.

The Blonde Bomber secured her first world title on Saturday after defeating Maria Cecilia Roman by unanimous decision in Leeds. Bridges came out strong by dominating the first half of the bout and showed drastic improvements from her previous fights, having taken on a new trainer in Mark Tibbs since December.

And promoter Hearn has now already begun to map out the 35-year-old’s next moves following her title victory. Speaking on Matchroom Boxing’s YouTube channel, Hearn suggested Bridges could fight two or three more times this year, giving July and November as potential dates.

He went on to say: "Now is the really important time to plan a fighter's career – when you win the championship – because you're a target for everyone."

Bridges, who showed tremendous heart on Saturday, remained unfazed by her long list of potential fights by claiming it would only motivate her further.

She said: "It just means I've got even more options. I don't mind having a target on my back, if anything it just pushes me to keep working harder and keeps me humble. I can't have time to slack off because everyone's after me."

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The Australian has several options after securing her world title. Hearn explained a rematch with Shannon Courtenay may well happen in the future, with Bridges having lost the first clash in 2021, before reeling off several other world champions in potential unification bouts.

He explained: "Shannon Courtenay will be back in the summer. Ebanie Bridges v Shannon Courtenay II is a huge fight. Obviously this time around Ebanie defending her world title, and that's a big fight.

"I think a voluntary defence will be next, in the summer, and then it's up to Ebanie. It’s up to Ebanie and Mark Tibbs to carve out a way of when they will be ready."

Hearn added: "The unification fights are all tough. [Yulihan] Luna is a great champion, Jamie Mitchell is a great champion.

"Every champion wants to try and unify, but I do think you're going to see continuous improvements from Ebanie under Mark Tibbs and you want to reach that ceiling of improvement before you jump into unification, but [it's] definitely the target for this year."

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