As time goes, women in sports become a rare phenomenon. Even in boxing, which some may find incompatible for women, there are cases where ladies achieve success. In this article, you will learn the top 10 facts about the first lady of women’s boxing.
Norwegian Cecilia Brækhus is the undefeated overall welterweight champion. Her sports path to the heights of world boxing is interesting and fraught with many difficulties. So, here are the top 10 facts about the first lady of women’s boxing.
Cecilia Carmen Linda Brækhus was born on September 28, 1981, in the port city of Cartagena (Colombia). The girl did not remember her parents. Her single mom died when Cecilia was several months old. One of the relatives took the child to an orphanage, as she was not able to raise the girl on her own. At the age of two, Cecilia was adopted by a couple from Norway – Jorunn and Martin Brækhus. Martin and Jorunn took custody of the girl and her brother and took the children to Norway – the city of Bergen.
Cecilia began her career in martial arts at the age of 14 with kickboxing. She won three national tournaments, the European Youth Championship and the World Championship. At the age of 21, Brækhus switched to boxing (a record in the amateur: 75-5). Major achievements: gold (2005, Tonsberg, Norway) and silver (2004, Riccione, Italy) of the European Championship and silver of the world championship (2005, Podolsk, Russia).
Following the results of the 2005 European Championships, Brækhus was recognized as the best boxer of the tournament.
In 1981, the year Brækhusus was born, a ban on professional women’s boxing was introduced in Norway. Cecilia began her professional career in Germany under the auspices of the promotion company Team Sauerland. In 2014, thanks to the successes of Cecilia and her petition, the ban on professional boxing in Norway was officially lifted.
Not only did he help to lift restrictions on women’s boxing, but at the same time, his actions helped to promote sportsbetting in Norway on boxing matches. It goes without a question that the gambling industry has a huge role and impact on sports. When casino providers in Norway witnessed the emergence of women boxing, they immediately offered bets on women’s matches. Supposedly they also offered sponsorship to Cecilia for her work, but the latter denied any involvement in the industry.
And usually, whenever the betting industry gets involved with some kind of sports, that’s like an additional source of legitimacy for the sport.
On November 29, 2014, Cecilia defeated the German Jennifer Retzke and for the first time defended the title of absolute world champion. In battle, Brækhus received a triple fracture of her leg. The girl underwent surgery to strengthen her ankles with metal knitting needles. The injury left the champion out of the ring for 15 months.
Cecilia’s adoptive parents were against her passion for kickboxing. The girl trained secretly from her parents, escaping from the house along the fire escape, each time going down from the 4th floor. In the end, Martin Brækhus allowed his daughter to attend training.
In 2011, Cecilia was supposed to have a fight with Holly Holm. The American unexpectedly lost to the French Anne Sophie Mathis. The fight with Brækhus was cancelled. Holm defeated Mathis in revenge. In 2013, Holly defeated Mary McGee. After this success, the super-fight between Holm and Brækhus was planned for the second time. However, negotiations have reached an impasse. Holly Holm completed her career in professional boxing and focused on MMA. In November 2015, she knocked out Ronda Rousey and became the new UFC bantamweight champion.
On May 5, 2018, on the undercard of the Gennady Golovkin – Vanes Martirosyan fight, Brækhus took part in the first women’s match shown live on HBO. For the first time in her career, Cecilia was knocked down, but was able to seize the initiative and defeated the American Kali Reis.
Brækhus owns four major welterweight titles: WBC, WBA, WBO and IBF. She is one of 7 fighters who have submitted to all four belts of the same category: Bernard Hopkins, Jermain Taylor, Oleksandr Usyk, Terence Crawford, Katie Taylor, Claressa Shields.
Cecilia earned the nickname First Lady thanks to filming for various magazines about fitness, fashion and sports. Brækhus is an official of the jewellery company Georg Jensen.
Since 2018, Cecilia has been preparing for battle under the leadership of a student of Emanuel Steward – Jonathan Banks. Banks coached Vladimir Klitschko, and since 2019 he has been working with Gennady Golovkin.