Things turned from bad to worse for WBA / WBC / WBO Female Welterweight Champion Cecilia Braekhus (19-0, 5 KOs), who was forced to pull out of the “women´s fight of the year” against French power puncher Anne Sophie Mathis (26-1, 22 KOs). The First Lady underwent surgery in Berlin to get her tonsils removed. “I am gutted,” Braekhus said from hospital. “This is the biggest disappointment of my career.”
The April 21 Nordic Fight Night at Frederikshavn´s Arena Nord will go ahead as planned, with Andreas Evensen (15-2-1, 6 KOs) flying the flag for Norway as he fights former world title challenger Tomas Villa (23-8-4, 14 KOs) for the WBA International Featherweight Title. Up-and-coming Danish talent Patrick Nielsen (13-0, 7 KOs) faces Gaston Vega (17-4, 6 KOs) for the vacant WBA Intercontinental Title, while Reda Zam Zam, Micki Nielsen, Torben Keller and Erik Skoglund will also be in action. “We feel very sorry for Cecilia,” promoter Nisse Sauerland said. “Everybody knows there is no stopping her inside the ring, so it´s really ironic and tragic that she gets knocked out by her tonsils. She will take a proper rest now and then continue her dominance in the world of women´s boxing.”
Evensen will fill the Norwegian slot on the card. He will battle it out with 28-year-old Mexican Villa, who challenged Jhonny Gonzalez for the WBC Featherweight Title in Atlantic City last September. The WBA International Featherweight Title will be on the line in Frederikshavn. “Villa is an extremely tough guy,” Sauerland said. “The Mexicans love their featherweights. Villa has emerged from a very competitive environment and has fought at the highest level. This is going to be a huge test for Andreas. It´s a 50/50 fight. But we believe in Andreas´ abilities. He is smart, fast and very skilled. April 21 will be an important day for him. He will be the next Norwegian champion.”
Evensen is looking forward to the challenge. “I feel sorry for Cecilia and hopes she gets back on track very soon,” he stated. “I am ready to face Villa. He is very experienced and tough but I will defeat him.”
The Braekhus-Mathis clash had originally been scheduled for March 17 but was moved back to April 21 after the First Lady had been flattened by tonsillitis. Back then, doctors had ordered her to sit out practice for one week and take antibiotics. When her condition failed to improve, surgery turned out to be the last resort. “I was hoping to be fit to fight on April 21 but the tonsillitis just did not get any better,” she said “In fact, it got worse, so the doctors decided to remove my tonsils. I will need some time to recover and then restart training in a few weeks. I want to say sorry to all my fans who had been looking forward to this thrilling fight as much as I had. I will be back soon and make up for it, my promise. As a sportswoman, I also want to say sorry to Anne Sophie to keep her waiting. I am confident we will get into the ring very soon.”
Tickets for the second Nordic Fight Night can be purchased at www.arenanord.dk .