Ebanie Bridges made a successful first defense of her IBF bantamweight title as she stopped Shannon O’Connell in the eighth round on the Warrington-Lopez undercard in Leeds.

The all-Australian clash came with a fair bit of needle, with O’Connell having been outspoken in her feelings about Bridges’s public image.

But, despite O’Connell starting well, Bridges was just too powerful and aggressive for O’Connell, who tried to match her punch for punch but was much too open.

“Not bad for a skanky stripper,” Bridges said. “I’m a world champion and I don’t want easy fights.

“She came to fight, she was hungry, she was fierce, but I was just better and that is why I am a world champion. It was a real ‘take that, how do you like them apples moment’.

“I’m not usually disrespectful to my opponents, but she has been so disrespectful to me the whole time, so I can’t give her too much respect.

“I hope Australia is proud of me now and they know who the queen of Australian boxing is.”

Bridges tried to push pressure on O’Connell from the opening bell, but O’Connell was happy on the backfoot and landed punches over the top of Bridges’s guard, rocking her with one right hand and also landing some good rights to the body.

In the second round, Bridges set a furious pace and forced O’Connell backwards, but O’Connell was still landing the snappier punches and landed the right well.

But Bridges continued to go after O’Connell in the third round and seconds into the round O’Connell was dropped by a left-right. O’Connell tried to fire back but was nailed by another right. O’Connell was already looking tired, but she was now in a slugging match with Bridges and, after she caught Bridges and seemed to stagger her, O’Connell then was hurt again herself.

In the fourth it was back to a toe-to-toe scrap and Bridges hammered in another big right that staggered O’Connell as she struggled to keep Bridges off her.

O’Connell put a furious effort into the start of the fifth round, as she hammered away at Bridges with both hands. But Bridges looked so strong up close and beat O’Connell up in close, forcing her backwards.

The action slowed at the start of the sixth round, as both looked tried, but Bridges seemed to rock O’Connell every time she landed. O’Connell landed a big left hand late in the round, but Bridges just walked through it.

O’Connell, who was badly swollen around the left eye, started the seventh round well, but Bridges kept marching through her and had O’Connell in trouble after trapping her in the corner and unloading.

The eighth continued in a similar vein with Bridges just ploughing into O’Connell, landing left-rights and forcing O’Connell back to the ropes. Eventually the big rights kept landing and after four successive hooks knocked O’Connell’s head back, referee Howard Foster stopped it at 1:45 of the right round.

Felix Cash warmed up for an expected fight with Austin “Ammo” Williams as he won an eight-round decision over Portugal’s Celso Neves, although he was far from convincing.

Cash tried to blast Neves away early on, but when Neves survived the initial onslaught and started coming back into things, Cash, the unbeaten former British champion, quickly settled on a distance win as he boxed

Cash, who last boxed in February, started fast, walking down the Portuguese boxer and landing a series of big rights. With 45 seconds to go in the round, Cash landed a heavy shot that had Neves backpedalling and he went for the finish, unloading with Neves on the ropes, although Neves covered up well and rode out the storm.

The second continued on a similar theme, but Cash was leaving himself open to Neves’s counters and was shipping plenty of punches.

And Neves was going nowhere. He worked his way through the third round and was taking the fight to Cash at points, although Cash was still landing the better shots.

In the fourth round, Cash boxed better, using his jab and working his openings and regaining control of matters. The fifth, sixth and seventh rounds were close, although Cash landed the cleaner shots, and by the final round was just happy to settle for a points win, although he was cut by a clash of heads. Referee John Latham scored it 77-75 to Cash

“I haven’t boxed for ages, so there was a bit of ring rust and I felt a bit flat,” Cash said. “That was a good eight rounds and I am ready to flatten someone next.”

Williams was brought in on the DAZN ringside interview, much to Cash’s obvious annoyance, as Cash angrily pushed him away when Williams gave him a less than glowing report.

“I will knock you spark out you stupid jackass,” Cash said.

Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.