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‘I don’t have a long time left in the sport’ – ‘First Lady’ Breakhus wants Taylor before it’s too late

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Cecilia Braekhus [35(9)-0] wants to fight Katie Taylor [15(6)-0] before it’s too late.

The undisputed welterweight champion has made the undisputed lightweight champion her main target, but seems to suggest the fight has to happen soon, as she is on the verge of calling it day.

‘The First Lady’ admits she all but called it a day after making her 24th successful world title defence thanks to victory over Aleksandra Magdziak Lopes the Stub Hub Center, Carson last December.

However, the 38-year-old Norwegian’s interest peaked again when her name was being dropped by some of the younger talent on the scene.

The welterweight queen found herself in a position where the marque fights she longed for for so long were now a possibility and she found herself having to decide whether to move up to face American Clarissa Shields or down in weight to meet another fellow pound for pound star in Katie Taylor.

The Taylor fight appealed more and Braekhus signed with Matchroom to make sure it happened.

However, speaking ahead of her Matchroom debut, a clash with former Taylor foe Victoria Noelia Bustos in Monaco on Saturday, Braekhus suggested the fight has to happen soon.

“I hope Katie Taylor wins her next fight and gets a good win. The main goal is to fight Katie Taylor. Because I feel like I can challenge myself if I fight her, and it would be the biggest fight of them all unless Serrano beats her — then Serrano is the one I want to meet. I don’t have a long time left in the sport,” she told DAZN.

Braekhus has done it all in boxing. She has been a world champion since March 2009 and undisputed welterweight champion since 2014.

She is widely regarded as the pound for pound #1, but does lack a signature win or mega fight on her CV. That is something she is now hoping to change before she hangs up her gloves.

“I was very tired after my last fight. I kept asking myself if this was it. But then I got back to Norway and got to relax a little bit. I was at home doing nothing with boxing at all.

“Then all these girls started to call me out. You had Claressa Shields, Katie Taylor, [Cris] Cyborg, all calling me out in like one week! Then I was like, ‘No, I’m definitely not done here.’”

To get the bouts she’s yearning for, Braekhus decided in October to sign with promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing. Her first fight as part of that deal is Saturday in Monaco against Victoria Bustos on the Radzhab Butaev vs. Alexander Besputin card live on DAZN.

“Those are the fights I want,” Braekhus explained. It was either going up to fight Claressa or going down to fight those girls. I don’t think it’s realistic for me to jump up and down. It’s either up or down. Next year, I will go down. I’m ready.”

The road map for Taylor appeared to the eagerly anticipated clash with seven weight world champion Amanda Serrano in March, an equally high profile rematch with Delfine Persoon followed by what would then could be billed as a greatest of all time clash with Braekhus.

However, with the Norwegian discussing retirement the deck could be shuffled around.


Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com