Cecilia Brækhus, the best female boxer, decided not to return to Europe after the canceled match. The reason is the coronavirus “Closing the borders, the travel restrictions, all the health warnings,” Brækhus told the Guardian this week.
“There was so much going on and everything was so uncertain, so I just said I’m going to stay here. Here I am safe and I’m healthy and I can be outside and I have nature around me. I’m in one of the safest places you can be”.
However, women's boxing does not attract much attention from sports fans. Cecilia believes that much less is invested in women's sports than in men's "For a long time there was a stigma against women fighters,” Brækhus said.
“It took 100 years for women to be allowed in the Olympics, which is crazy. There’s not enough investment from promoters in talent and the big fights. What is so strange is we saw what the UFC was doing but we couldn’t implement that in boxing.
The reason why women worked for them is that they always put the same marketing and promotion behind their women as their men”.
Cecilia Braekhus on Eddie Hearn contract
Last year, she signed a contract with Eddie Hearn.
They are doing a great job promoting women's boxing "People always think that one thing or one fight will change women’s boxing, but that’s not the issue,” Brækhus said. “There are a lot of different pieces to the puzzle all working together.
Getting women’s boxing into the Olympics became a great platform for talent coming up. Then you have me: I have sold 10,000 tickets and sold pay-per-views and other women have done it too over in Europe. Then you have the #MeToo movement, which gave women all over the world a huge boost.
The success of women in the UFC was also a big thing. What Eddie Hearn is doing right now with building a big brand and stable around women’s boxing. All these things working together is what’s bringing it to the next level.
“So now we just have to get paid for it, too”. However, she says that it is a little different now and that there are many women who train martial arts “When I started, women with muscles were frowned upon in a lot of places,” Brækhus said.
“A girl wasn’t encouraged to do martial arts at all. It was hard to find trainers. I was the only girl in the gym. We weren’t allowed to go to the Olympics. Today, it’s a different world from when I started. It’s just amazing to be a part of what’s happening right now”.