The injury sustained by Norwegian boxer Cecilia Brækhus in last weekend’s latest championship match turned out to be much more serious than she or anyone else thought. After thinking she simply had sprained something, she finally found out Wednesday that she sustained three fractures in her right foot.
“As soon as it (the injury) happened, I felt panic and thought ‘shit, now I’m injured and will lose my World Championship belts,'” Brækhus told state broadcaster NRK on Wednesday. “I really thought the match was lost.”
She had two choices: give up or grit her teeth and endure the pain. She opted for the latter because she still thought she could win the match against Jennifer Retzke on Saturday. She did, even though she ended up on crutches.
An initial trip to a local hospital in Denmark, where the match played out, indicated no broken bones. A more extensive MR examination when she returned home to Berlin revealed three fractures on Wednesday, but she claims they won’t have any consequences for her boxing future. She had planned to take a long holiday anyway, after a year of no less than four World Championship bouts.
Now she needs to give her foot a rest for at least six weeks, according to doctor’s orders. “I can begin to train again in January,” Brækhus told NRK. “That’s actually just fine,” she added, after the Christmas and New Year holidays.
“Four championship matches in one year is absolutely up to the limit, perhaps it was one too many,” she mused. “That’s up for discussion.”
She also thinks she now knows how the injury occurred: Brækhus said she was in the middle of a combination and putting full force into her next punch when she lost her balance and landed with full body weight on the foot. “I haven’t seen the episode, but that’s how I remember it,” she said.
Now she think’s it’s “kind of cool” to think that she boxed with a broken foot, and still managed to win. “I am mentally very strong, maybe a bit too strong,” she said. “My body can’t always hang in there.”