Brækhus wins her fight to fight

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Norwegian boxing champion Cecilia Brækhus, age 34, can finally carry out her sport on home turf in Norway, where professional boxing has been illegal since 1991. Her application to compete in Norway was approved, and she’ll enter the ring this autumn at the Oslo Spektrum arena.

Erna Solberg, set on being Norway's next prime minister, also tried to show some muscle with Norway's boxing star Cecilia Brækhus while out campaigning earlier this week. PHOTO: Høyre

Prime Minister Erna Solberg has supported Brækhus’ fight to lift the ban on professional boxing. On Wednesday, Brækhus partially succeeded. PHOTO: Høyre

“This is just unreal,” Brækhus said while heading into a press conference Wednesday afternoon. Finally, after winning all her championship titles abroad, she can box in front of Norwegians in Norway.

Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported Wednesday that her debut match in Norway has been called “The Homecoming” and her opponent hasn’t yet been confirmed. Brækhus promised she’ll face a formidable rival.

“We’re working on the final details,” said Brækhus, who’s originally from Bergen but has been living in Germany for many years. “This will be an historic match, so it (her opponent) has to be someone who’s worthy of being an opponent at such an arrangement.”

She’d been fighting to fight in Norway for years and faced tough resistance, especially from the Norwegian athletics association that has prohibited professional boxing in Norway as long as the sport doesn’t follow WADA’s anti-doping regulations. The Norwegian organization Antidoping Norge, the athletics association and Team Brækhus finally came to terms on Wednesday and the ban was lifted, just for this one match, which also will be attended by the govenment minister in charge of culture and sports, Linda Hofstad Helleland.

“We’ve been working hard for this for many years,” said Brækhus. Helleland said she’ll be cheering Brækhus on.

“This has been a demanding process, but we think this was a ban that the Norwegian people couldn’t understand,” Helleland said. “Why should politicians forbid a sport in Norway?”

Brækhus’ match is set for October 1.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund

  • inquisitor

    A ban lifted for one match.
    Not much different than small grocery stores open for business on Sunday.