Born in Cartagena, Colombia but raised in Sandviken, Norway after being adopted at the age of 2 by a Norwegian couple, Cecilia Carmen Linda Brækhus is one of only seven boxers in history to hold all four major world titles simultaneously.
Often referred to as boxing’s first lady, she is a force to be reckoned with in the fighting world and the reigning women’s welterweight world champion. This is just one of her many achievements across her fighting career.
A boxing enthusiast from a young age, Brækhus started kickboxing at the age of 14 only to move on to boxing later but her Norwegian parents were actually reluctant to let her get into the sport to start with, especially seeing as boxing was banned in Norway in 1981; the same year as her birth. She’s quoted to have talked about how she would climb out of her window and on to her roof to practice boxing out of her parents’ gaze.
Luckily, her persistence paid off as Brækhus is now considered the best female boxer in her class as well as having a big impact on the sport worldwide and in her home country of Norway.
In 2007, she signed her first pro contract with German promoter Wilfried Sauerland after moving to Germany to continue her fighting career. By 2009, she was already the welterweight World Champion and went on to claim more and more titles. In 2010 she defended her WBA and WBC titles against USA fighter Victoria Cisneros while also winning the WBO title.
In the same year, she successfully defended all three titles against Swedish fighter Mikaela Lauren while also winning the World Professional Boxing Federation Title (WPBF).
Recently she became the first female fighter to be named Fighter of the Year by BWAA. To add to her long list of achievements, as the longest-reigning female boxing champion she was awarded a Guinness world record.
Female Boxing Advocate
Being one of the only women in the world to achieve what she has in the sport, Brækhus has been a strong advocate for changing how female boxing is promoted in the industry and believes that women boxers should be in the spotlight.
Throughout her career, being a professional boxer for over 13 years, she has gone undefeated for 36 fights showing the impressive potential of female fighters and the exhilaration of the sport.
She fiercely advocates female boxing, which has never received the same recognition as male boxing despite the incredible achievements of herself and other female fighters. What’s more, when boxing returned to Norway in 2014 thanks to her advocacy for the sport, Brækhus was able to sell out the arena for the first fight in her own country. The boxing industry is finally taking note of women’s boxing thanks to incredible feats like this.
She is now a national hero in Norway but she still faces hesitance from promoters who don’t give female fighters the same respect as their male counterparts. Because of this, she is continuing to promote female boxing and believes that women in boxing can have the same impact as women in mixed martial arts where the Invicta FC has successfully promoted female fights. Although the two sports are very different, the success of female mixed martial arts suggests that there is also a market for female boxing.
As Dr. Steelhammer said that “learning the essence of body and mind coordination and making them work together creates exceptional strength”, I’m sure it swings both for male and female fighters.
And The Fight Continues
Despite being close to retiring in December, other notable fighters have been calling her out and she was quickly rallied to continue. After some time at home in Norway, Brækhus decided to continue her career signing with promoter Eddie Hearn. Her goals for 2020 are to fight the undisputed lightweight champion and WBO super lightweight titleholder Katie Taylor as well as seven division world titlist Amanda Serrano.
Knowing that she is approaching the end of her long and impressive career at the age of 38, Brækhus admits that she doesn’t have a lot of time left in the sport but will go out fighting and always challenging herself against the best.
Stay tuned… like Brækhus, we’ll continue to write stories of our favorite fighters here at K2Promos. That’s a promise! 😉