Cecilia Brækhus: Meet the 'first lady' of boxing, one of the GWOATs the sport has ever seen
Google Cecilia Brækhus and what shows up is a list of jaw-dropping achievements. The boxing world has seen her as the champion supreme, especially when she is the first woman to hold the WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO titles in any weight class at the same time. There's no doubt she's one of the GWOATs of boxing and will be the cynosure of all eyes when she takes on Jessica McCaskill at the WBA/IBF/WBC/WBO Female Welterweight Championship on August 15, 2020.
A win on August 15 will see her break legend Joe Louis' record of 25 consecutive title defenses. Known as "The First Lady" for her achievements in the sport, Brækhus has had quite the journey. For starters, the Norwegian was a kickboxer before foraying into boxing. Her amateur record of 75-5-0 was an early indication that she was destined for greatness. The achievements rolled in soon after. 2009 saw her take the WBA female welterweight title by defeating Danish boxer Vinni Skovgaard.
She followed that up by defending the title twice — once against Amy Yuratovac and then against Lucia Morelli the same year. The major achievement was in September 2014 when she became the first woman to hold all major world championship belts in her weight division (welterweight) in boxing history, according to The Foreigner. Bleacher Report, in an exclusive with Brækhus, traces her journey to stardom and it wasn't an easy road. According to the site, Pro boxing was banned in Norway since 1981. This meant relocating to Germany and the wait continued until she could finally fight in 2016 back home.
"She is a national hero in Norway, and now being able to fight after boxing was banned for so long is a big achievement in her career, completely selling out the arena, something that most male boxers can't do," Braekhus' business partner, Tom Loeffler from K2 Promotions, told Bleacher Report. Quite simply, Brækhus decided to battle the odds when she decided to hit the gym and become a boxer — something that was unexpected of in the '80s.
There's a sense of confidence when she talks. Talking about her upcoming bout, she was all but ready for the win. "I will get win 37 in Tulsa," she said. "Being in Big Bear for so many months has given me another life in boxing, before I have been in meetings, on the phone, flying back and forth, LA-Norway, Norway-LA, but I’ve been just completely focused on my boxing and I am in the best shape, I cannot remember the last time I was in such great shape and I cannot wait for Saturday." That's not to mean she's taking McCaskill lightly.
According to Shadow League, there's a secret she revealed about her success. "The best fighters will adapt to the new conditions. When I go into the ring I just focus on my opponent and nothing else, so it will be different but I have experienced a lot of weird stuff in my career, it’s been many years now and I honestly think that I have experienced everything so I don’t think no crowd being there will be an issue at all. I am there to do a job and that’s where my focus is."
It's only a matter of time before she notches up another win on August 15.