In a historic homecoming Saturday night at the Spektrum in Oslo, Norway, unified WBA/WBC/WBO/IBF/IBO female welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus, (29-0, 8 KOs), from Bergen, Norway, by way of Cartagena, Colombia, knocked out former WBA/WBC super lightweight champion Anne Sophie Mathis, (27-4-1, 23 KOs), from Varangéville, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France, at 1:05 of the second round.
All three judges had it 10-9 for Braekhus at the time of the stoppage.
Norway’s boxing drought is finally at an end. It took a star of Braekhus’ magnitude to initiate a thaw and break the ice. Tonight’s fight was the first pro card in Norway in 36 years, dating back to 1981. A life without punching feels Scandinavian, but the 9000 fight fans at the Spektrum ate it up like there’s no tomorrow. Hopefully more fights are coming now that a new generation of Norwegians has gotten a taste of the sweet science.
Mathis stood at 5-foot-11 to Braekhus’ relatively petite 5-foot-7½. At 37, Mathis’ best days are behind her. And while the size difference could have been a factor, the bigger they are, the harder they fall, as Braekhus proved another time.
With Michael Buffer on hand to establish the proper tone, Braekhus took control of the fight at the opening bell. When she staggered Mathis in the second, the sold out crowd jumped to its feet with a roar. With Mathis defenseless on the ropes, the ref waved it off and the house gave Cecilia Braekhus a standing ovation.
Not known for her power, having only eight knockouts in 32 professional fights, Braekhus was as dumbstruck as she was delighted by the end result.
“Apparently I am a knockout boxer!” she said.
It was a gift from the boxing gods to the newly christened fight fans of Norway.
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.