Is the best yet to come for Cecilia Braekhus or she is on the downside of a Hall-of-Fame career?
Even though she is 38 years of age, Braekhus believes in the former.
Braekhus will make another defense of her undisputed welterweight championship Saturday night as she faces Argentina’s Victoria Bustos at the Casino de Monte Carlo Salle Medecin in Monte Carlo, Monaco. The 10-round bout will precede the main event bout between Radhzab Butaev and Alexander Besputin for the vacant WBA welterweight title.
Both fights will stream live on DAZN (2 p.m. ET/ 11 a.m. PT).
Braekhus (35-0, 9 knockouts), who resides in Bergen, Norway, last fought on Dec. 8, defeating Aleksandra Lopes by unanimous decision over 10 rounds. The fight marked Braekhus’ ninth defense of her undisputed championship.
Bustos (19-5) has won four of her last five bouts, but Braekhus is expected to defeat the Argentine fighter. Bustos’ last defeat was by unanimous decision to Katie Taylor on Apr. 28 of last year and she lost to Erica Farias by decision, a fighter Braekhus easily defeated in June of 2017.
“I’m here to beat Bustos on Saturday and I want to make a statement,” said Braekhus at Thursday’s press conference.
What would be in store for Braekhus entering her 14th year as a prizefighter in 2020? She has been mentioned as a possible opponent for Claressa Shields, who is dropping down to 154 pounds after unifying all the middleweight titles. Shields will fight Ivana Habazin for two vacant world junior middleweight title belts on Jan. 10 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Despite being on the downside of his career, Braekhus believes she still has a lot left in the tank, especially with more opportunities for women to showcase their talent. Saturday night will mark Braekhus’ first bout with Matchroom Boxing, something for which she is grateful for.
“The door to the Olympics was closed for woman and you had to fight for a spot on a television show. What has happened in recent years is a pleasure to be a part of.”
Who knows how many more years, or fights for that matter, Braekhus will have left in her illustrious career. Having promoter Eddie Hearn and Tom Loeffler in her corner should pay dividends, especially if a move up to 154 pounds to face Shields would be her best move.
Loeffler is confident Braekhus can still fight at an elite level and maintain her status as the top female fighter in boxing today.
“This is a huge opportunity bout a tough fight. Under promoter Eddie Hearn’s guidance, if Cecilia is successful on Saturday, there will be some of the biggest fights in the history of women’s boxing next year.”
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing