Cecilia Braekhus Aims to Prove She Is Still Elite By Beating Terri Harper
Cecilia Braekhus (37-2, 9 KOs) is at a bit of a crossroads as she’s days away from her May 20 battle against WBA women’s junior middleweight champion Terri Harper (13-1-1, 6 KOs). In the unfamiliar role of challenger, and with her career possibly on the line, Braekhus is fueled to prove that has plenty of good fights in her and can win another world title.
A former longtime undisputed welterweight champion, there was a time when Braekhus was considered the top women’s boxer in the world, pound for pound. But many pundits feel that she’s past her prime and not the same since suffering back-to-back losses to current 147-pound champion Jessica McCaskill in August 2020 and March 2021.
After a lengthy period away from the ring, Braekhus decided to move up to junior middleweight. She returned to action in December 2022 with a six-round decision victory over Marisa Joana Portillo.
EXCITED ABOUT THE OPPORTUNITY
Next up is the 26-year-old Harper. During an interview with the news source Punchout Boxing, Braekhus said she feels rejuvenated. She believes that fighting at 154 will be a huge benefit against the younger world champion.
“It’s definitely going to be a real difference, and not have to battle the weight and just be able to have fun with boxing again.”
The champion and challenger prefer to box. Braekhus is looking forward to what should be a chess match. She gave the following assessment of Harper:
“She’s a great athlete. She’s always in shape. She’s well-conditioned, she’s strong, but she also has the boxing in her, you know. So, I’m happy I can come to box. I don’t have to come to brawl for ten rounds. I can box with this girl.”
“That’s what’s going to be so great about this because that’s what I want to do. I think we’re going to have some absolutely amazing rounds of high-quality boxing.”
PUTTING THINGS IN THE PROPER PERSPECTIVE
Most observers consider Harper as the betting favorite. But if Braekhus can display the form of her younger years, she is a live underdog and has a legit chance of leaving the ring with the title around her waist. The 41-year-old veteran is fully aware of what is at stake and prepared to bring her best on fight night.
“I definitely think she’s hungry and wants to make a statement against me, but that also makes me motivated. We’re definitely coming in with the same attitude. She’s hungry to make a statement. I’m hungry to show that I’m still here and I can still get that belt.”