Undefeated Norwegian boxer Cecilia Brækhus will make history tonight in America when she defends all five of her welterweight world titles against Kali Reis live on HBO. This will mark the very first time that a female fight will be shown in its entirety on a premium network that has been integral in bringing the best fights in the history of the sport into homes for decades. But who is Cecilia Brækhus, and is now the right time for HBO to delve into women’s boxing?
Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields made history last year when she became the first female to headline a boxing event on Showtime and has since become a must see attraction on the network. This makes HBO late to the game, so the quick answer to that aforementioned question of if this is the right time would be yes, it’s never too late to join the party when you’re featuring someone as world-class as Brækhus as your history maker.
With a perfect record of 32-0, Brækhus is regarded by many as the top female pound-for-pounder boxer in the world today. She’ll be showcased on a night where a man who many pundits hail as the top male pound-for-pound fighter in the game, Gennady Golovkin, closes out tonight’s broadcast on HBO.
Both Brækhus and Golovkin enter tonight as heavy favorites who should have no issues closing out their respective fights. This will give boxing fans the opportunity to soak in the talent of both of these world class fighters for a lesser price on a night where historically, they’d usually be purchasing the fights on pay-per-view. We have Canelo Alvarez to thank for that.
Born in Colombia, this will be Brækhus’ first appearance in the States to do battle. The majority of her fights have taken place in Denmark and Germany since making her pro debut back in 2007 in Switzerland.
Known as boxing’s “First Lady,” Brækhus was awarded the 2017 Christy Martin Award as the first ever Boxing Writers Association of America Female Fighter of the Year. In short, this girl has quite the knack for making history.
“It was very emotional of course,” Brækhus told HBO about hearing that she’d be a part of the first ever women’s bout on HBO. “Everybody knows that female boxing here in America has had a lot of hurdles to get over. I think this is the last barrier – HBO. You know, the historical part of this is so big. It’s kind of mind-blowing, like I said it’s very emotional because I know, I hope that this will be the thing that takes female boxing to the next level.”
Make sure to tune into to HBO at 11 p.m. to watch Brækhus become a part of history when she takes on Kali Reis in the co-main event before Gennady Golovkin faces Vanes Martiroysan in the main event of the evening.