In a career spanning seven years, Cecilia Brækhus (24-0, 7 KOs) has risen to the very top of the boxing world. Considered to be the female pound-for-pound number one, she is undefeated in twenty-four contests and currently holds the WBC, WBA & WBO Female World Welterweight titles.
As Brækhus prepares for her fifteenth World title defence against Jessica Balogun (24-3, 12 KOs) this weekend at the Sports and Congress Center in Schwerin, Germany, ‘’The First Lady’’ looks back at the beginnings of her glittering career.
‘’Of course like everyone it was my dream to become World Champion but I never thought I would be able to achieve so much,’’ said Brækhus.
‘’When I started as an amateur in Norway no one was making a living from boxing. I just wanted to box because I thought it was fun.
‘’It is funny now when I look back and remember what it was like at the start. I moved from my hometown Bergen to Oslo to start training as an amateur when I was twenty years old and I had no money. I was really broke!
‘’To support myself I had to get two jobs. I was working in a sports store and a coffee shop. I also had to train. So I was training two times a day and then working two jobs. Man, that was tough!
‘’It goes to show that you don’t achieve anything without hard work.’’
A sentiment shared by promoter Nisse Sauerland.
‘’Cecilia is a phenomenal athlete,’’ said Sauerland. ‘’When we signed her back in 2008 we could see the potential she had. Her development since then has been has been astounding. There has been a lot of hard work put in from Cecilia, her coaches and everyone involved in her career to get her where she is today.’’
Despite all the success that has followed her humble beginnings Brækhus remains hungry for more and will not allow herself to become complacent as she continues to chase her dreams.
‘’I love what I do, I love boxing,’’ said Brækhus, when asked what motivates her.
‘’It can be tiring. Sometimes after a fight I can feel like I never want to box again. But then I go on vacation and after a week sat on a beach I’m bored! I can’t wait to get back in the gym and back to boxing!
‘’There is also so much more I want to achieve. It’s no secret that I want to win the IBF belt and to one day fight in Norway. I still have a lot dreams.
‘’But I have a tough fight this weekend against Jessica Balogun. I can’t look any further than this fight. I must make sure I am one hundred percent fit and on hundred percent focused in order to beat her.
‘’I may be the pound-for-pound number one but to stay at the top I must work harder than everyone else. I cannot afford to become complacent.’’
Norwegian fans can watch Cecilia Brækhus defend her WBC, WBA & WBO Female World Welterweight titles against Jessica Balogun live on Viasat 4 on Saturday June 7th from 20.00.