By Alexey Sukachev
Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk (14-0, 11 KOs) collides with Russia's Murat Gassiev (26-0, 19 KOs) in the World Boxing Super Series Grand finale.
The bout, which takes place on July 21 in Moscow, Russia, will be one of the rarer fights, which will define a truly undisputed world champion, as per the Common Rules, meaning all four of the belts, considered major – WBC / WBA / IBF / WBO – will be up for grabs in the contest. The legendary Bernard Hopkins and current P4P top contender Terrence Crawford are the only two, who have ever brought all of those pieces together.
But there has been an Ultimate King, or it’s better to say Queen, among female fighters. And even more to that.
Cecilia Braekhus (33-0, 9 KOs), 36, rightfully named “The First Lady”, captured WBC and WBA welterweight titles more than nine years ago in March 2009. She added the WBO belt with a win over Victoria Cisneros in May 2010, then she took Ivana Habazin’s IBF 147lb belt in September 2016, and finally completed The Superior Grand Slam by taking the IBO belt off Chris Namus two fights later in February 2016.
This means the upcoming challenge from the WBC interim 147lb titleholder Inna “The Ice Queen” Sagaydakovskaya (7-0, 3 KOs), 33, will be a battle for five belts at the same time. And while much is known about Braekhus, the same cannot be said about her Russian counterpart, whose greatest wins were against 15-2-2 Maria Lindberg (UD 10) and 16-3-1 Jennifer Retzke (TKO 2).
“I have good fundamentals. Each win over a solid opponent enhances my confidence”, said Inna during a press meeting.
“Cecilia should know that I have a dream. My dream is to be the undisputed champion of the world. There will be no kisses, as was the case with her penultimate opponent Mikaela Lauren. Soon we shall know who the boss in the ring is."
Sagaydakovskaya has also spoken about Braekhus:
“My future opponent is truly unique: she has been fighting as a champion for years. She is the best P4P, the most titled. When she started her pro career, I have just began my own amateur life, so I have some solid experience as well”.
“I have been watching her for a long time, ever since I started boxing. I've had a long-time desire to fight her. Everyone talks high about her but I see nothing superstitious in Braekhus. We are at the same level. I’m a bit tallerer, have a greater reach, and I’m physically stronger than her. Her technique is beyond good. But I have my own advantage, and that is stamina. I was competing at a cross-country ski; I know how to breathe and how to last the distance”.
“She is a boxer. She doesn’t possess a one-punch knockout power, which I have already proved I have. I have more power for my Hail Mary equalizer – that’s for sure!”
Inna has already weighed in chances in the main event of the night.
“It’ll be the most anticipated fight between two truly amazing fighters. Gassiev had his technique greatly improved, he is an educated competitor. Usyk is very technically sound and he is also very mobile. There will be no knockout. The fight will go the distance, and the chances are absolutely even. This is a toss-up fight”.