Cecilia Carmen Linda Brækhus (born 28 September 1981) is a Norwegian professional boxer and former kickboxer. In boxing she has reigned as the undisputed female welterweight champion since 2014, and is the first woman in any weight class to hold the WBA, WBC, IBF, and WBO titles simultaneously. She is also one of only four boxers in history, female or male, to hold all four titles simultaneously, along with Bernard Hopkins (2004–2005), Jermain Taylor (2005), and Terence Crawford (2017). In 2017, the Boxing Writers Association of America named Brækhus their inaugural Female Fighter of the Year.
Born in Cartagena, Colombia, Brækhus was adopted as a two-year-old by Norwegian parents and raised in the Sandviken area of Bergen Brækhus started kickboxing at the age of fourteen.
Brækhus soon began competing in amateur boxing competitions, and achieved an amateur record of 75-5-0 before turning professional.
Professional boxing career
In November 2007, she signed a pro contract with German promoter Wilfried Sauerland, who announced his intention of making her the first Norwegian woman World Champion. Her first fight was against Croatian boxer Ksenija Koprek, 20 January 2007.
On 14 March 2009, she became the WBC World Champion in welterweight against Danish boxer Vinni Skovgaard. She also captured the vacant WBA female welterweight title.
Brækhus successfully defended her titles on May 30, 2009 against Amy Yuratovac in Helsinki, Finland, and on September 12, 2009 against Lucia Morelli in Herning, Denmark. Brækhus after defending her titles against Jill Emery, 2011
Eight months later, on May 15, 2010, Brækhus successfully defended her WBA and WBC titles against Victoria Cisneros from the United States, while winning the WBO title. The match was fought in Herning, Denmark. In a unanimous decision, the judges declared the fight for Brækhus, having won all 10 rounds.
On October 30, 2010, in what was expected to be the hardest match of her career, Brækhus successfully defended her WBA, WBC and WBO titles against Mikaela Laurén from Sweden, while winning the World Professional Boxing Federation (WPBF) title. After Brækhus having dominated the whole match, she knocked Laurén out in the 7th round. The match was fought in Rostock, Germany.
On September 14, 2014, after defeating Croatian Ivana Habazin, Brækhus became the first Norwegian and the first woman to hold all major world championship belts in her weight division (welterweight) in boxing history. In 2010, she was voted the “Female Boxer of the Year” by German boxing magazine BoxSport.