Norway’s Cecilia Braekhus Returns Home to Defend Titles
In a country that just recently lifted a ban against prizefighting Cecilia Braekhus finally can show off her skills to her adopted countrymen and women.
Braekhus (28-0, 7 Kos) defends the milieu of welterweight titles she holds around her waist like layers on a birthday cake. The Norwegian prizefighter faces former foe Anne Sophie Mathis (27-3-1, 23 Kos) a hard-hitting fighter from France on Saturday Oct. 1, in Oslo.
Not since 1981 has anyone participated in a prize fight inside Norway’s shores.
Thirty-five years ago Norway imposed a law called the “Knockout Law” which penalized anyone even training as a prizefighter to a three-month prison sentence. That forced Braekhus to leave her country and end up fighting in Germany. She soon became a popular pro boxer and her fights were actually televised in Norway.
Now arguably the top female fighter in Europe and one of the best anywhere in the world, Braekhus will be facing Mathis whose most notable victim was Holly Holm back in December 2011. Her destructive punching power has resulted in 23 stoppages of her 27 wins. That’s incredible stopping power for a woman.
Both have fought each other before in September 2012, just months after Mathis destroyed Holm in Alburquerque, New Mexico. The Norwegian fighter used her athleticism and swiftness to avoid any heavy punches coming her way. Her jabs and quick combinations enabled her to out-point the more powerful Mathis and win by unanimous decision.
That was four years ago. Can Braekhus’s legs carry her to victory again?
Power punchers never lose their knockout venom but super athletes do lose the spring in their legs. Will this fight be different?
A line of possible opponents awaits Braekhus should she be victorious. Starting with American stalwart Layla McCarter, several top females have claimed to be willing to dethrone the Norwegian welterweight including Poland’s Ewa Piatkowska, Belgium’s Delfine Persoon, Sweden’s Klara Svensson, Christina Hammer and Hanna Gabriel.
Should Braekhus win on Saturday a long line of challengers will be ready. It could open the door to female boxing entering a higher level internationally and in the U.S.
Female Fight News
In Buenos Aires, a flyweight contest between an undefeated fighter and a winless participant resulted in the expected as Andrea Sanchez (4-0-1) defeated Veronica Tesure (0-4-1) after four rounds. Sanchez is 26 and fights out of Buenos Aires. Tesure, 33, fights out of Tigre, Argentina.
In Chubut, a battle of super lightweights was won by Alejandra Zamora (3-1) over Laura Martinez (0-4) by technical knockout in the third round on Friday Sept. 23. A 10 round super featherweight contest saw Lizbeth Crespo (11-3) win by unanimous decision versus Marisa Portillo (16-13-3).
On Saturday Oct 1, in Tielt-Winge, Jill Serron (0-0) meets Viktorija Mihailova (0-1) in a bantamweight bout set for six rounds.
In Santiago, a super bantamweight contest was won by Alys Sanchez (14-3-1) over Guadalupe Maldonado (8-6) by decision after six rounds.
On Saturday Oct. 1, in Reutlingen, bantamweight Alesia Graf (28-5) meets Kleopatra Tolnai (9-7) in a bout set for 10 rounds. Germany’s Graf, 35, is a former super bantamweight and a super flyweight world champion. Tolnai 19, fights out of Budapest, Hungary and has strung together three consecutive wins in the span of a month.
In Osaka, a light flyweight match saw Akari Arase (4-2) win by split decision versus Eiko Jonai (2-2) after four rounds on Thursday Sept. 22.
In Tokyo, a massive all-female boxing card saw 10 female bouts take place on Wednesday Sept. 21. WBO minimum weight titlist Kumiko Ikehara (9-1-2) retained the title by split decision against Kayoko Ebata (9-7) after 10 rounds. It was 31-year-old Ikehara’s fourth world title defense since winning it in 2014. It was a rematch of a fight won by Ikehara in May 2015. Other winners were Ayumi Goto (5-0), Chaoz Minowa (1-0), and Sayaka Aoki (3-3) by knockout wins. Yoshi Wakasa (4-0), Yuki Koseki (4-2), Yumemi Ikemoto (2-0), Natsuki Tarui (1-4) Nana Takahashi (1-0) and Umi Ishakawa (1-0) won by decision.
In Almaty, a super featherweight battle ended with Firuza Sharipova (2-1) winning by technical knockout in the third round over Milena Matovic (0-1). Sharipova, 22, fights out of Taraz, Kazakhstan.
In Cancun, an anticipated matchup between rising light flyweights Lourdes “Lulu” Juarez (17-2) and Yesenia Gomez (13-4) ended in a no contest in the fourth round of a scheduled eight-rounder on Saturday Sept. 24. Juarez, 29, the younger sister of superstar Mariana “Barbie” Juarez, fights out of Mexico City and was attempting her fifth fight this year. Gomez fights out of Cancun.
In Huixtla, a flyweight bout saw Liliana Mendoza (1-2) win her first by unanimous decision over Joselina Garcia (0-2) after four rounds on Saturday Sept. 24. In another bout, Annel Zamayoa (1-1) win by decision versus Jessica Diaz (0-1) after four rounds.
On Saturday Oct. 1, in Ecatepec, WBC flyweight titlist Jessica Chavez (27-4-3) defends against Japan’s dangerous Naoko Fujioka (15-1) the current WBO bantamweight titlist who is moving down two weight divisions to tangle with Chavez. Fujioka, 41, has defeated several other Mexican female fighters including Mariana Juarez, Anabel Ortiz and Mayela Perez. Chavez, 28, fights out of Mexico City and is making the fourth defense of the world title. Her last fight was one of the best of the year against Esmeralda Moreno.
In Auckland, a rare heavyweight fight ended with Nailini Helu (3-0) winning by split decision after six rounds versus Ange Davis (0-1) on Saturday Sept. 24. In another female heavyweight bout, Cheyenne Whaanga (1-0) beat Sarah Long (0-2) by decision after four rounds.
In Porirua, a super featherweight contest ended with Rebecca Jennings (6-1) beating debuting Desiree Maaka (0-1) after four rounds.
On Saturday Oct. 1, in Oslo, undisputed welterweight world champion Cecilia Braekhus (28-0) defends her world championship grip against France’s Anne Sophie Mathis (27-3-1) in a contest set for 10 rounds. It’s a rematch. Braekhus, 34, defeated Mathis by unanimous decision in 2012 in a fight that took place in Denmark.
In Kalisz, a lightweight battle was won by Ewa Brodnicka (11-0) by unanimous decision after eight rounds versus Lela Terashvili (7-4-1) on Saturday Sept. 24. Brodnicka, 32, last year defeated current WBC super welterweight titlist.
On Saturday Oct. 1, in Biel/Bienne, featherweight Vissia Trovato (5-0) meets Jovana Trifunjagic (3-5) in a six round contest.
On Saturday Oct. 1, in Berne, lightweight Viviane Obenauf (8-1) fights Karina Kopinska (7-12-3) in a six round match.
In Albuquerque, a lightweight matchup saw Briana Gonzalez (2-0) beat Katie Ramirez (0-2) by majority decision after four rounds on Saturday Sept. 24.
On Friday Sept. 30, in San Francisco, Casey Morton (4-0-2) faces Samantha Salazar (1-2) in a super flyweight contest set for four rounds.