Women’s boxing is gradually gaining popularity in the world. We can mention several factors for that but one thing is clear – both Katie Taylor and Cecilia Braekhus have had a major impact on this sport. They are examples of a winning mentality and showed pure determination to achieve their goals.
However, we cannot exclude promoter Eddie Hearn who believes in women and lobbies for their fights notably.
The emergence of Katie Taylor
Four years ago, Eddie Hearn put the women’s fight on the men’s tournament schedule. At that time, the British were fighting at Wembley. If the championship titles were played out, it was a belt of national importance. In short, the tournament did not have any resonance and few were interested outside of Britain.
Then there was the debut of Irish Katie Taylor. At that time Taylor had already won gold at the London 2012 Olympics. In her native Ireland, she became an icon of sports, and she formed her own fanbase. This did not save her from the rumble and discontent of the stands during the opening fight.
Taylor won by TKO and was signed to a full contract. The Irishwoman’s next fight was already at the big tournament.
Four years later, Katie Taylor had an impressive record: 16 fights, 16 wins, 6 KOs. She is an absolute champion in the lightweight and first welterweight categories. And her fights are always the main events.
Interest in women’s boxing has grown so much that women can already be found in the rankings of the best boxers in the world on a par with men, and ESPN even began to lead a separate female “pound-for-pound” rating.
Hearn has brought together women who consistently win and generate interest in their personalities: Katie Taylor, Clarissa Shields, Terry Harper, Jessica McCaskill, Tasha Jonas, and Cecilia Breckhus.
It should be said that contracts for fights are generally higher for men’s boxing. In women’s boxing 50,000$ might be a good fee, but for men – it’s a ridiculous one, but women for a long time were denied access to the TV screen, so the big five-figure checks for the fight they almost did not see. Taylor and Braekhus who are both already considered boxing legends had a major role in increasing the fee for women’s boxing.
Due to these women, interest has jumped in betting on women’s boxing. If we take Cecilia Braekhus who is possibly the greatest boxer in history, her career has been full of success and titles. She has had a massive influence – and when we say massive, not only in Norwegia but the whole world as well. Betting on women’s boxing was never a real thing in Scandinavia but with the introduction of the Norwegian betting bonus on the matches of Braekhus, the whole boxing world was turned upside down. If people now are betting on women, this is because of Braekhus, her impact, and greatness.
Drama worthy of Hollywood
Women’s boxing is rich in cinematic subjects. Even it’s a pity that Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby didn’t come out during the heyday of women’s boxing – now movies and sports could work for each other.
There are stories of hegemony, as in the case of Clarissa Shields. The American at the age of 25 won all 10 fights and managed to win titles in three different divisions. Now she is an absolute middleweight champion. Bernard Hopkins, Jermaine Taylor, Cecilia Breckhus, Terence Crawford, Alexander Usik, and Clarissa Shields have reached such a checkpoint.
A rising star of British boxing Terry Harper is only 24 years old, and on her account already 10 victories, 50% of which are obtained by knockout. In August, she fought with compatriot Natasha Jonas. Harper was a fan of her rival. She even has a baby photo of her. In 2012, she came to Jonas’s fight as part of the Olympic tournament. Respect and bigotry didn’t stop Harper from defeating her idol in a close-range battle (96-94, 95-96, 95-95). Cinematic? That’s a good one.
The fight between Cecilia Breckhus and Jessica McCaskill was the main event of the tournament in Tulsa. Braekhus had a perfect record at the time – 36-0, 9 KOs. Despite the 39-year-old’s victory, no one doubted her victory except the team in McCaskill’s corner. The American won, but she did it very convincingly.
After the fight, Breckhus made a touching speech and announced the end of her career:
“If this is my last fight, I can leave women’s boxing by saying that I have become part of something big. I helped women to reach a high level, and that’s my main achievement. I have achieved a lot, but I miss my friends and family. Women’s boxing is in great shape today, and it will do fine without me.”
Although Hollywood screenwriters may have been working on this event because what looked so dramatic became even more dramatic with the statement of revenge. In September, Braekhus announced that she would return to the ring.
“I don’t want to leave boxing after the worst performance of my career. My fans don’t deserve it. If I lost to a rival who was better, being in my best shape and showing everything I can, then it’s good to leave, but in this case, it’s not,” Breckhus said.
In general, women in boxing gloves are able to surprise. The main thing is to treat them with full seriousness and respect, then they will give you both spectacle and drama. And Taylor and Braekhus, in particular, have played a focal role in promoting this sport.