Cecilia Braekhus, the undisputed and unified female world welterweight champion from Bergen in Norway defends her titles at the Casino de Monte Carlo on Saturday, November 30th against Argentina’s former IBF world lightweight titleholder Victoria Noelia Bustos. The show will be streamed in the USA by DAZN and shown by Sky Sports in the UK.
Braekhus (35-0-0, 9 Ko’s) first won the WBC and WBA versions of the female 147lb titles way back in March 2009, making her the longest-reigning world champion today. She has defended those titles on 24 occasions as well as picking up the vacant WBO version in May 2010 from Victoria Cisneros and the IBF belt in September 2014 from Ivana Habazin.
Born in Cartegena, Colombia in 1981, the 38-year-old Braekhus, known as ‘The First Lady’, has made her home in Norway and cemented her name in women’s boxing in an 8-year career. It is unlikely that another female boxer will surpass her successes, although Claressa Shields and Katie Taylor may attempt to do so.
The fact that Matchroom Boxing has chosen to showcase this fight makes you think that Katie Taylor’s move up in weight to win the WBO super-lightweight title maybe be a move towards an eventual challenge to Braekhus. That fight would attract a big audience. However, before Braekhus can think of other big-money fights down the line she has to take care of the 30-year-old Bustos who has fought at this level successfully before. Since losing to Katie Taylor for the unified lightweight titles in New York in April 2018, Bustos has gone on to become the Interim IBF female super-lightweight champion with a unanimous decision win over Enis Pacheco at home in Argentina.
At 38-years-old, the clock is ticking on Braekhus’s career and as we all know, older fighters can come apart at any time, but the feeling is that that time is not now and the unified champ will just have too much for Bustos.
Prediction: Braekhus to win a points decision.