Live from San Francisco, California, Devin “The Dream” Haney steps up to super-lightweight to challenge Regis “Rougarou” Prograis for his WBC super-lightweight championship. Featured on the undercard is an epic matchup coming from the women's bantamweight division. Ebanie “The Blonde Bomber” Bridges is set to make the second defense of her IBF bantamweight title against Japanese contender Miyo Yoshida. Read on below to find our prediction for this epic title matchup.
Ebanie Bridges: Seeking Unification
Ebanie Bridges has made no secret of her desire to acquire more championship gold.
The reigning IBF bantamweight champion, who was originally scheduled to face fellow Aussie Avril Mathie, is now set to make the second defense of her title against former WBO super-flyweight champion Miyo Yoshida.
Bridges is coming into this fight off the back of a pretty spectacular run of form. She won her current title by defeating Maria Cecilia Roman in her now adopted hometown of Leeds, United Kingdom, before dominating (and subsequently knocking out) Shannon O'Connell in her maiden title defense. Expect the “Blonde Bomber” to look to come in and make a San Francisco statement on Saturday night.
Miyo Yoshida: Last Minute Shot At Gold
Miyo Yoshida last fought on November 7, nearly exactly one month ago. That tells you just how late notice this fight is for the former WBO title holder.
Whilst Miyo Yoshida might not exactly be a household name, she is a very, very competent boxer, with an impressive 16-4 record to boot. As mentioned above, she's previously held (albeit briefly) the WBO super-flyweight belt. She also holds the unique achievement of never winning a professional fight via knockout; every single one of her 16 victories has come via the judge's scorecards.
Does that mean that Yoshida should be confident in this fight going the distance? Well, not entirely. All four of her losses have also come via decision. That being said, this could present a unique challenge to Ebanie Bridges, especially considering that she has been the much more active fighter of the two – this is Ebanie Bridges' first fight this year, whilst Yoshida fought just one month ago.
Ebanie Bridges Path to Victory: Blast Yoshida Into The Bay
Ebanie Bridges has absolutely phenomenal punching power – especially when you consider her size and the division she fights in.
Take the Shannon O'Connell fight, for example. Not only did Bridges viciously knock O'Connell down in the third round, but she brutally stopped her late into the fight. Bridges' killer instinct and nose for a finish is going to be her biggest asset in this fight. What is interesting about fighting an opponent like Miyo Yoshida is that she has neither been knocked out before nor knocked anyone out.
What this means is that Yoshida is comfortable in surviving, but might not present as vicious a threat as that of which Bridges is used to. Our prediction is for Bridges to push forward with her trademark pace early, and look to land those heavy hands to the head and body to put Yoshida away within the first half of this fight. It will be interesting to see if she can do so.
Miyo Yoshida – Path to Victory: Draw The Fight Out
As we've already pointed out, Miyo Yoshida is extremely (some might argue too) comfortable in going the distance. And that is where her best (probably in fact, only) chance lies in this fight. Miyo Yoshida is going to have to draw this fight out, and then step on the gas towards the end to try and tire Bridges out. Truthfully, it is next to impossible to imagine any other path to victory for Yoshida; she clearly does not possess the power to finish Bridges, so she is going to have to hope to outbox Bridges for the entire duration.
Official Prediction: Blonde Bomber To Retain Crown
Our prediction – perhaps not the biggest shock – is that Ebanie Bridges will retain her IBF bantamweight crown on Saturday night.
Truthfully, it is next to impossible to see how Miyo Yoshida realistically has a path to the upset. Granted, she has the height advantage, but that is essentially where it begins and ends for her. Our prediction is that Ebanie Bridges will be too big and too strong for Miyo Yoshida to cope with. Do not be shocked at a finish around the halfway point of this matchup.
Official prediction: Ebanie Bridges to win via fifth round TKO.