Female Fight News May 7, 2018 Another Look at Braekhus
By David A. Avila
When Cecilia Braekhus selected Kali Reis as an opponent for HBO’s female boxing debut it was because she wanted someone to test her.
Borrowing a term from Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, it was a “big drama show” as the welterweight world champion was floored once and almost twice in winning by decision after 10 rounds.
Thank you Ms. Braekhus and welcome to America.
For several decades many prizefighters around the world have long known that if you want to prove your mettle than do it in America. You will be tested.
Braekhus took less money to fight in Southern California on the first female fight ever televised by HBO. It was a monetary sacrifice she eagerly accepted. Braekhus made $50,000 and Reis $20,000.
During the seventh round when Reis beat Braekhus to the punch and sent the champion down for the first time in her career, it could have been a monetary decision turned fatal. But Braekhus smiled and got up and seemed to enjoy the new challenge presented in her foray in America.
“That’s what I needed to bring a competitive fight and show my best in coming to America and taken on a strong girl and it just tickled all of my senses,” said Braekhus, 36. “Everything just delivered-the arena, the atmosphere, it was amazing. Absolutely thrilling.”
Tom Loeffler, promoter of 360 Promotions, said that Braekhus took less money to help generate more interest for female prizefighting in America.
“Here’s a champion who sells out 10,000 seat arenas in Norway. Here’s a champion who changed the law in Norway. Boxing was banned in Norway and because Cecilia was so talented a world champion and so popular in her country they actually changed the law to allow her to fight in her own country,” said Loeffler, adding that the HBO fight was televised in 151 countries worldwide. “She fights on pay-per-view in Norway. She’s one of the biggest stars in Norway. She was coming here to America just to fight for the fans and an opportunity to fight on HBO to show her skills with a completely different financial situation shows a dedication.”
It all could have been for naught had Reis stopped her. But Braekhus relished the newness of fighting for her professional life.
“I haven’t had so much fun in a long time. I had an amazing opponent and we just went for it for 10 rounds,” Braekhus happily told more than 100 reporters at the post-fight press conference. “She was definitely a worthy opponent for this historical fight. I’m just extremely happy and proud of both of us tonight.”
The debut of female boxing on HBO was watched my many fighters both on television and in person.
Former world champion Daisy Lang, who along with Regina Halmich made female boxing a hit in Germany, was in attendance and excited about the HBO telecast.
“It was exciting to watch the two female boxers on such a huge night,” said Lang, who flew in that morning from Germany to witness the event. “I’d like to thank promoter Tom Loeffler for making history and give the women an opportunity.”
A current female fighter Mikaela Mayer watched on television from her training camp headquarters in Colorado.
“It was awesome. It was just amazing and long past due,” said Mayer, a former Olympian and current undefeated super featherweight who fights this Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York City. “Everything is happening now and it’s great for women’s boxing.”
Social media outlets were bursting alive with feedback regarding the HBO telecast and more than a few had recommendations for Braekhus to fight next. One common name kept popping up.
Layla McCarter is currently ranked number one in the welterweight division and her name was tossed around by fans as the strongest opponent for the current undisputed welterweight champion. More than a few people claim McCarter is the best fighter pound-for-pound in the world. Both McCarter’s team and Braekhus team have negotiated before.
“There was some pretty high financial expectations on McCarter’s side,” said Loeffler about previous negotiations. “It didn’t even fit the HBO budget, couldn’t meet those expectations…If something like that presents itself and the financial expectations are realistic for what works, certainly that is something to consider but that is a pretty direct answer of why that fight has not happened.”
Others mentioned were Cyborg who was present at the StubHub and Claressa Shields who fights currently at super middleweight but is set to meet Hanna Gabriels in a middleweight showdown on June 22 in Detroit, Michigan. It will be televised.
Regardless, it was a good night for female boxing as HBO joins the other networks such as Showtime, ESPN and Fox in televising female prizefighting.
“I think that together with having the first fight on HBO in such a way is a huge win,” said Braekhus.
Let’s hope it was a big win for HBO viewers too.
“It wasn’t about the money it was about making history,” said Braekhus after the unanimous decision win at the StubHub Center in Southern California.
Female Fight News
Brenda Gonzalez (0-0-1) and Daniela Molina (0-1-1) fought to a draw after four rounds on Saturday May 5. The light flyweight fight took place in El Hoyo, Rio Negro.
On Saturday May 12, light flyweights Andrea Sanchez (8-1-1) and Guadalupe Bautista (10-10-2) meet in a 10 round clash at Villa Angela, Chaco.
Annie Mazerolle (6-3) won by unanimous decision after six rounds versus Maria Velis (1-5) on Saturday May 5. The light heavyweight fight was held in Miramichi, New Brunswick.
Pauline Leconte (3-1-1) defeated Nahed Kharchi (2-1) by unanimous decision after six rounds on Friday May 4. The lightweight clash took place in Saint Quentin, Aisne.
On Saturday May 12, light flyweights Anne Sophie Da Costa (24-3) and Halima Vunjabei (6-3-1) meet in a 10 round fight for the WBF world title at Reims, Marne.
Xenia Jorneac (9-3) won by technical knockout in round two versus Tama Nazarashvili (4-3) on Saturday May 5. The super flyweight bout was held in Bayern.
On Saturday May 12, super middleweights Nikki Adler (16-1) and Femke Hermans (6-1) clash in a 10 round fight for the WBO world title at Augsberg, Bayern.
Jun Yabuki (11-0) knocked out Saowarak Nareepensee (0-1) in round three on Saturday May 5. The light flyweight belt took place in Tokyo. Yabuki, 27, is a southpaw fighting out of Tokyo and has six knockout wins.
On Saturday May 12, super bantamweights Aracely Palacios (9-9) and Edna Maltos (1-0) meet in a four round bout in Durango, Mexico.
On Saturday May 12, super flyweights Linda Lecca (13-2-2) and Maribel Ramirez (11-9-2) meet in a 10 round bout for the WBA world title in Lima.
Lucy Wildheart (3-0) won by technical knockout in round four versus Nana Chakhvashvili (5-5) on Saturday May 5. The lightweight match took place in Stockholm.
Rachel Ball (3-0) beat Monika Antonik (1-11) by decision after four rounds on Friday May 4. The lightweight bout was held in Walsall, West Midlands.
Cecilia Braekhus (33-0) defeated Kali Reis (13-7-1) by unanimous decision to retain the welterweight world titles on Saturday May 5. The battle for the WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO, IBO titles took place in Carson, California in Los Angeles County.
Shelly Vincent (22-1) won by majority decision versus Hungary’s Edina Kiss (14-7) after 10 rounds on Saturday May 5. The featherweight fight took place in Mashantucket, Conn.
Seniesa Estrada (13-0) stopped Amarilis Adorno (1-7) in the third round on Friday May 4. The light flyweight bout took place in Carson, California. A bad cut from a punch forced the fight to be stopped.
On Friday May 11, super flyweights Tyrieshia Douglas (13-1) and Helen Joseph (15-3-1) meet in an eight round clash at Philadelphia, Penn. Douglas, 29, has won her last four consecutive fights. Joseph, 29, has knocked out her past three opponents.
On Friday, May 11, welterweights Aleksandra Lopes (18-4-3) and Natasha Spence (8-3-2) meet in an eight round slash at Lincoln, Rhode Island.
On Saturday, May 12, super featherweights Mikaela Mayer (4-0) and New Zealand’s Baby Nansen (6-2-1) meet in a six round fight at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
(Photo by Al Applerose)