Citizens in Nordic countries are direct descendants of Vikings – the people who are ferocious for their strength, nature, and determination. No wonder that this fact has had a direct impact on the development of martial arts in the country and Scandinavian states managed to produce one of the greatest boxers in the world.
When we are talking about the greatest boxers from Nordics, it is excellent to see a woman from Norwegia in this list who has achieved a lot of things in this sport. So, without further ado let’s proceed to the most prominent boxers from Scandinavian countries.
Cecilia Brækhus is perhaps one of the greatest, titled, and influential boxers of all time from Norwegia. She is the first woman in history to have collected all the major championship belts in the main versions – WBA, WBC, WBO, IBF, IBO.
Having Colombian roots, In the professional ring, Cecilia held 36 fights and won all, 9 times by knockout, and in 2017 received the title of Female Fighter of the Year. Before moving to boxing she was a kickboxer.
Cecilia is a professional athlete, on September 28 she turned 38 years old. At the age of five, she was adopted by a couple from Norway. Parents did not want her daughter to go in for sports, because the girl ran away to train. With 13 years in life, Brækhus has been kickboxing, but she quickly changed it to boxing. As an amateur, she spent 80 fights, in 75 of which she won, losing only five fights. In order to become a professional, the girl had to move to Germany; until 2016, a ban on professional boxing was in effect in her native Norway and she did a lot to lift the restriction on boxing in Norway.
Her popularity and influence have not gone unnoticed in Norway and even reached the betting industry. While she contributed a lot to lifting restrictions and harsh rules to boxing, this fact directly affected the betting environment in the country. Gradually online betting sites, commonly referred to as norske bookmakere by locals and fans also started to offer options on boxing and at some point. Currently, a lot of people watch and bet on boxing because of this woman, who did a lot for this sport.
By the way, in her homeland, Cecilia is a big star. It was with her fight that professional boxing returned to Norway. Tickets for the fight were sold out in hours, and the country’s top officials came to root for Cecilia Brækhus. Due to her unusual appearance for Norway, she often gets on the covers of fashion magazines and participates in photo shoots.
Mikkel Kessler is a Danish professional boxer who performed in the second middleweight category. He also became World Champion in the 2nd middleweight category in 2004-2007, 2008-2009 and 2012. Also in 2006-2007 according to the WBC version.
He debuted as a professional in March 1998. In the debut fight, he knocked the undefeated American, Kelly Mays in the first round. He spent almost all the fights in his native Denmark.
On November 29, 2002, he won the vacant IBA World Champion title, winning by unanimous decision from judges against South African representative Dingaan Thobela (40-9-2).
On April 11, 2003, Kessler knocked out experienced Craig Cummings and won the international WBC world title.
Having defeated Briton Brian Magee by technical knockout in the 3rd round of December 8, Kessler won the vacant title of “regular” WBA super middleweight champion.
On May 25, 2013, in a spectacular match, he lost the title, losing on points in the UK, to the local famous boxer, Carl Froch.
Ingemar Johansson was a Swedish professional boxer who performed in the heavyweight category. He was a silver medalist at the 1952 Olympic Games and became World Champion in the heavyweight category.
In 1952, Ingemar Johansson participated in the Helsinki Olympics. He reached the finals, where he met with the American Ed Sanders. For passive boxing in the final, the referee disqualified the Swede. Johansson was stripped of the 2nd place medal. The International Olympic Committee awarded the Swede with a silver medal 30 years later – in 1982.
His debut took place in December 1952 and almost all the fights were in Sweden. On September 30, 1956, Johansson won the vacant European title by EBU.
In June 1959, he met with world heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson in the United States. The champion was on the floor seven times. In the 3rd round, the Swede knocked out the American.
In June 1960, the 2nd battle took place between Johansson and Floyd Patterson. The American knocked out the opponent in the 5th round.
In March 1961, the 3rd battle took place between Johanson and Floyd Patterson. Johansson was on the floor in the 1st round. In the 6th round, the American knocked out the Swede.
Over the course of his career, the Swede in the USA has spent only 3 fights – all with Patterson.
In April 1963, Johansson defeated Brown London on points. After this fight, the Swede left boxing.
Over his entire professional career, he has never met a boxer who had a negative record. At least once, he defeated every opponent with whom he met in a professional ring. He had 28 fights, in which he won 26 victories (17 of them by knockout).
Oscar “Battling” Nelson
Talking about the greatest boxers from Nordics we should not ignore “the Durable Dane”, Oscar Nelson who held the World Lightweight Championship. He began a professional career at the age of fourteen in 1896. Many consider him to be the best Danish boxer of all time.
It should be noted that his family emigrated to the USA when Nelson was very young, but he never forgot his roots and remained Dane. From 135 fights he conducted, Nelson won 73 of them and when he defeated Jimmy Britt in 1905 by knockout, he won the lightweight championship and further cemented his legacy in boxing.