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Cecilia Braekhus chooses Mia St. John, ducks Holly Holm?

Credit: Chris Cozzone
Credit: Chris Cozzone
Less than 24 hours after the World Boxing Council (WBC) Female Championship Committee ordered a mega-fight between undefeated WBC welterweight champion Cecilia "First Lady" Braekhus (21-0, 5 KOs) and 14-time, three-division world champion Holly "The Preacher's Daughter" Holm (32-2-3, 9 KOs), Braekhus' promoter, Sauerland Boxing, notified Holm's promoter, Fresquez Productions, that Braekhus had instead agreed to fight 45-year-old Mia "The Knockout" St. John (47-12-2, 18 KOs) on April 13 in Denmark.
Credit: Chris Cozzone

Credit: Chris Cozzone

The WBC had awarded the distinction of the Diamond Belt for the Braekhus-Holm fight because "it is regarded as one of the best fights in the history of female boxing." Sauerland and Fresquez had discussions prior to the WBC's order and, if the promoters were unable to reach an agreement - negotiations have now broken off due to Sauerland's announcement that Braekhus is fighting St. John - that the WBC will conduct a purse bid Friday, February 15 at its headquarters in Mexico City.

Sauerland has reportedly requested an exception from the ordered mandatory defense for Braekhus in order for her to fight St. John. Fresquez has requested an answer from the WBC regarding how the Braekhus-Holm purse bid will proceed, as well as having additionally petitioned the World Boxing Association (WBA) to order its welterweight champion, Braekhus, to fight No. 1 challenger Holm in a mandatory defense.

Last December, Sauerland sent a video tape to Fresquez and media outlets, in which Braekhus challenged the WBC & WBA No. 1-rated Holm to a Sauerland-proposed July fight in Las Vegas, which was quickly accepted, pending final terms.

"This is an embarrassment for our sport," Fresquez said.

"Holly Holm is the Queen of Boxing and she was ready to fight Braekhus. They've been using Holly's name for the last two years, so they could build Braekhus' name, and we've been chasing her for that long. Based on their decision to fight Mia, they obviously aren't serious about fighting Holly. I don't understand why they challenged Holly and then, after we had accepted their challenge, ducked her again. Maybe they expected certain demands from us, giving them an easy way out of the fight, to make them look good in the media and public. In that video, Breakhus made a big deal about Holly being knocked out by (Ann Sophie) Mathis, but Holly showed the heart of a champion by sticking to her game plan to win their rematch. Braekhus used Holly's same game plan to beat Mathis. Sauerland and Braekhus have turned their backs, once again, on being in the greatest women's fight of all-time, which is another black eye for women's boxing."

St. John is a two-time world champion who has lost six of 11 fights since her 2005 defeat by way of a 10-round shutout decision (100-90 on all three judges' scorecards) to Holm.

Here's a look at a direct comparison between Holm and St. John, in terms of the more legitimate challenger for Braekhus, who also reigns as the World Boxing Organization (WBO) 147-pound female champion:

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            Holly Holm                   Mia St. John

Age                                                            31                                   45

World Titles                                       14                                    2

World Title Fights Record       21-1-1                           3-5

Record vs. World Champions  14-1-1                         1-8

Common Opponents:

Christy Martin                                      WDEC10                  LDEC10 & WDEC10

Jamie Clampitt                                      WTKO1                            LDEC10

Present Ratings:

WBC                                             #1 Welterweight             #9 Super Welterweight

WBAN                                           #1 Welterweight             #4 Super Welterweight

WBA                                             #1 Welterweight             #5 Super Welterweight

Box Rec                                        #1 Welterweight             #9 Welterweight

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Holm held the WBC 147-pound division belt in 2008 but relinquished it after one successful title defense. She has also been world champion in the light welterweight and light middleweight divisions.

Fresquez announced that Holm (2-0) would be in a Bellator mixed-martial-arts fight on February 28 at Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. "We're not waiting around to fight anybody," Fresquez noted. "Holly can be a world champion in MMA, too, but boxing is her first love. We can't make Braekhus fight Holly. Unfortunately, the dilemma for Holly is that there just aren't any big names left for her to box, at least those ready and willing to fight her."


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