Rematch: Cecilia Brækhus vs. Anne Sophie Mathis
Professional boxing’s return to Norway on October 1 at the Spektrum in Oslo rests on the broad shoulders of Cecilia Brækhus.
The WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO and IBO female welterweight champion calls the bout “The Homecoming,” as in home is where the heart is, as well as “The Arctic Rumble,” as in chill or be chilled.
“I’m thrilled I finally get the opportunity to fight on Norwegian ground,” said Brækhus when she announced the fight last month. “I have been dreaming of boxing in front of my home fans in my home country since I went pro nine years ago, and I am extremely motivated for this fight.”
Everything was in place; everything, that is, but an opponent.
But that was then and this is now and Cecilia Brækhus (28-0, 7 KOs), from Bergen, Norway, by way of Cartagena, Colombia, is getting it on with former WBA World female super lightweight champion Anne Sophie Mathis (27-3-1, 23 KOs), from Varangéville, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France, a second time.
In their first fight, on September 22, 2012, at Arena Nord in Frederikshavn, Denmark, Brækhus decisioned Mathis after 10 rounds to retain her titles.
Thirty-nine-year-old Mathis, who was called “women’s boxing’s Mike Tyson” in her prime, has not fought since retiring in February 2015, but her star power, like the star power of Cecilia Brækhus, remains undimmed.
“We had to find the absolute toughest opponent,” said Brækhus. “We want to go all in. Nobody wants to fight her.”
The 10,000 seat Spektrum sold out within hours.