Cecilia Braekhus: ‘Natasha Jonas is amazing, inside and outside the ring, but I believe 100 per cent that I’d beat her!’

Cecilia Braekhus is inspired by Natasha Jonas, but still wants to fight her.

Norway’s Braekhus had been a trailblazer in the sport. Her undefeated run spanned 36 fights and more than 13 years. Between 2014 and 2020 she reigned as the undisputed welterweight champion, winning all four of the major world titles and defending them 10 times.

She first became a unified champion back in 2009 and is a veteran of 28 world title fights, of which she lost only two.

She might be 41-years-old but, after moving up in weight, she is targeting the 38-year-old Jonas as her route back to the top.

Braekhus had a remarkable championship reign (Photo: Mark Robinson)

“Let’s just cut straight to it. I want a title fight,” Braekhus told Sky Sports.

“Both Natasha and Terri Harper are at the top of my list. They both went up to 154lbs, which is my natural weight division now.

“Natasha Jonas, ever since she became a professional I’ve been a big fan of hers. I would love to fight for her belts.

“I love her, she’s an amazing boxer, she’s an amazing representative of this sport inside the ring and outside the ring but I believe 100 per cent that I will beat her.”

Jonas had the best year of her career in 2022 when, in three fights, the Liverpudlian unified the WBC, IBF and WBO super-welterweight world titles.

Cecilia Braekhus v Victoria Noelia Bustos, Welterweight IBF, WBA, WBO, WBC and IBO title fight, Casino de Monte Carlo, Monaco on tomorrow night..30th November 2019.Picture By Mark Robinson..
Braekhus beat Victoria Noelia Bustos in Monte Carlo to defend her undisputed title (Photo: Mark Robinson)

Even though Braekhus considers Jonas a future rival, she has already used her as an example.

“Natasha, she’s a mother, she’s an athlete, I have so much respect for her, to the point that if I feel tired or I don’t want to go to the gym today, I’m like what are you complaining about, this woman is literally a mother, she has a human being to take care of and she’s a unified champion,” Braekhus said.

“So I love Natasha, I have so much respect for her and I think it would be a tremendous fight.”

Braekhus had a long and a hard route through the sport herself. Now she wants to be part of the boom in women’s boxing that is under way in the UK.

“They’re at the forefront right now in women’s boxing, which is incredible,” she said. “With such amazing role models, I think nobody could carry this better than they are.”

Cecilia Braekhus
Braekhus’ own ambitions remain

She is eager then to travel to Britain to challenge Jonas. “Fighting her in England I don’t see any problem with that either,” Braekhus said.

“It’s not far from Norway. I know a lot of Norwegians would come over from Norway to watch this fight. It would be a big treat for the Norwegians to get this fight too.”

The former champion had to acknowledge the progress women’s boxing has made. “When I started out in boxing I couldn’t even see somewhere out there what we are doing right now. It was hard to fathom at that time when I was starting out,” she said.

Cecilia Braekhus of Norway Kali Reis in the World Welterweight Championship at StubHub Center on May 5, 2018 in Carson, California.
Braekhus has seen women’s boxing come a long way

“Remember we weren’t allowed to join the Olympics, the Olympics was only for men. It was a whole different world.

“It was rough. One of the toughest things was being told every day that you’re less worthy as women,” she continued.

“That was the thing that definitely did not sit right with me at all. It didn’t matter how many people told me I was less worthy, I would never listen to them.

“I’m so happy that the next generation don’t have to be in that position.”

“Where we are today, for us who started out at that time when I started out, you just have to wake up sometimes,” Braekhus reflected. “Just realise how far we came.

“We do have more to work on but we’re definitely on our way.”

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