Cecilia Brækhus (right) fights Jennifer Retzke in Falconer Hall, Copenhagen. Photo: Tore Meek / NTB scanpix
The Norwegian boxing star had to contend with a slight injury with her right foot and struggled with a limp for over half the fight, but she won an overwhelming point-based victory after ten round.
Brækhus dedicated her win to her fans, directed towards the Norwegian audience in : "Thank you so much for the support. It was a 'shit’ fight, but 'shit happens’ – I got through it. I was unlucky and stepped over, but I hope to be back stronger. Thank you so much.”
Saturday night at Copenhagen's Falconer Hall was the boxer's successful second defence of her four World Championship belts. Brækhus holds the WBA (World Boxing Association), WBC (World Boxing Council), WBO (World Boxing Organization) and IBF (International Boxing Federation) belts.
The Norwegian fighter seemed strongest from the start, and Retzke defended herself for most of the fight. From the third round, the advantage became clearly visible after Brækhus got a solid uppercut to the face of her rival. By this point, Retzke had already started to look tired.
The Norwegian “first lady” continued to dominate most of the fight. Brækhus was much more nimble than the German and avoided any serious punches. Retzke performed some "dirty” boxing and used her head and shoulder a lot, but it didn’t help against the World Champion.
In the seventh round Brækhus had to take some body hits in her stomach. She also had to frequently put ice on her foot between rounds. She was more and more bothered by her injured foot, but took victory without significant problems.
Brækhus said to NTB after the match: "The injury happened in the third round. I made a wrong step and landed with all my weight on the one foot. It was very painful right away, but after sitting on the chair in the break before the fourth round, it hurt so much when I stood up that I almost couldn’t stand in the next round.”
"I joked a bit after the match saying that I had defended my World Champion title with only one leg. Now I have shown that it is possible,” she said.
Brækhus’s promoter, Nisse Sauerland, said to Viasat: "Even with a damaged ankle, she performed brilliantly. We can be very satisfied with the victory.”
The three judges ruled unanomously with points scores of 98-92, 100-90 and 100-90.