Boxer Brækhus eyes long holiday

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Cecilia Brækhus, Norway’s champion boxer who won another major title over the weekend, already has several other new opponents on her list but first things first: Brækhus now just wants to savour her victory over Oxandia Castillo and take a long holiday.

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

Cecilia Brækhus (right) in an earlier meeting this summer with another female fighter, prime minister candidate Erna Solberg. Both hail from Bergen. PHOTO: Høyre

“This was a very important match and victory,” Brækhus told Norwegian news bureau NTB after beating Castillo with a technical knockout in the ninth round. “I’ve taken a new step forward, because this victory will be noticed internationally.” So were her earlier victories, but she thinks this one will be especially good for her career.

The match against Castillo from the Dominican Republic was held in Denmark and ended with Brækhus defending her world championship titles in the World Boxing Association (WBA), the World Boxing Council (WBC) and the World Boxing Organization (WBO). She’d put them all at risk in meeting Castillo, who also entered the ring with a long string of victories. Brækhus can never have a home turf advantage, since boxing is illegal in Norway, but she still hadn’t been beaten in the last 22 matches she’s fought.

“This was a tough match, very tough,” Brækhus told Viasat right after the match. “I just want to thank Castillo for taking the challenge.”

Brækhus admitted to being battered and bruised the day after. “I can feel that I’ve been hit by extremely hard punches for nine rounds,” she told NTB. “It will take a bit of time to be just fine again. Mentally it’s also been an enormous release, so I really need a vacation to not think about either training or boxing.”

She fully intends to keep boxing later though. “I’ll keep this up for a few more years,” she said, adding that she seeks “only the best” among new opponents. She mentioned Christina Hammer of Germany, Layla McCarter of the US, “a girl from Argentina in the class under me” and Myriam Lamare of France.

In the meantime, though, she’ll take two weeks completely off, she said, before training resumes. She’s already been named the world’s best female boxer regardless of weight class (she’s a welterweight, at 66 kilos) but doesn’t think about becoming a legend in her sport.

“What most people don’t realize is that I’m not doing this to be a legend,” she told NTB, “but because I just love the sport of boxing. It’s my great passion.”

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund