Viviane Obenauf spent her boxing career facing the best competition in her weight division, though is now in for the legal fight of her life.
The former two-division challenger was arrested and remains in custody of Swiss police as part of an ongoing investigation surrounding the death of her 61-year old husband, who is only identified as “Thomas” due to Swiss protection law. In a shocking development first reported by the Daily Sun, Obenauf’s husband was found dead earlier this fall as the result of “massive injuries due to blunt instrument” according to a police report, a copy of which has been obtained by BoxingScene.com.
Obeneauf—who was arrested earlier in the week—remains the prime suspect, with suggestions of having beaten her husband to death in their apartment in Interlaken, Sweden.
Swiss authorities have searched both their apartment and a gym owned by Obenauf, 34, who was born in Brazil before moving to Switzerland.
The stunning news comes more than a year after Obenauf called it a career following a 10-round loss to England’s Terri Harper last November in Manchester, England.
Obenauf—who once represented her native Brazil in the Olympics as a gymnast—retired with a record of 14-6 (9KOs) before marrying Thomas this past January in Switzerland. Her post-fight career included a stint in the food and beverage industry before opening her own gym.
Obenauf’s husband owned a restaurant, Des Aples in Interlaken which has remained closed since his death.
A published report from Blick—a Swiss newspaper—revealed that Obenauf has been arrested once before as well as being involved in another domestic dispute. The former contender was apprehended in a London nightclub after punching a male patron in retaliation to allegedly being groped during what was her 30th birthday celebration in October 2016. Obenauf was eventually released.
The same publication also quoted an ex-boyfriend of Obenauf whom alleges that the former boxer has a history of violence. The ex-boyfriend—a weightlifter at the time they were dating—claims that a drunken dispute between the two resulted in his being punched four or five times and his slapping her, though failing to specify or confirm the order of events.
Efforts to have Obenauf arrested and convicted at the time ended shortly after the passing of her mother.
During her career, Obenauf fought a who’s who in the junior lightweight and lightweight divisions. Her biggest achievement came in August 2018 when she scored a stunning 4th round knockout of 2012 Olympian and then-unbeaten Natasha Jonas, who has since emerged a top 130-pound contender. The feat came after suffering losses to Katie Taylor—at the time in her second pro fight and before becoming lightweight queen—and Ewa Brodnicka before the Polish boxer would become a world champion.
Obenauf came up short in a December 2018 title bid versus still-reigning IBF 130-pound titlist Maiva Hamadouche, as well as bouts with Harper and Chantelle Cameron with the IBO title at stake on both occasions.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox