In life, there are certain things that you simply never attempt, such as sticking a knife in a toaster or sticking your toaster in the bath. One thing you certainly never do is attempt to kiss your opponent during an intense pre-fight stare-down, especially when she is the undisputed champion of the sport.
But that is exactly what Swedish boxer Mikaela Lauren did when she came up against Cecilia Brækhus, who is also referred to as “The First Lady” after she was crowned the first female to hold four major titles simultaneously.
The pair shall fight this Saturday for a second time, after Brækhus knocked Lauren out in 2010. But during Monday nights press conference, 41-year-old Lauren landed the first shot against her opponent who boasts a 31-0 undefeated record.
Meanwhile, Lauren’s record stands at an impressive 29-4 out of her 33 contests. However, her stunt at the press conference would certainly seem to suggest that she thinks she can win this bout, which will see the winner crowned the world welterweight champion.
The sly kiss came as a surprise to Brækhus who instantly flung herself away from Lauren, after landing a slap on her opponent’s face. Despite having been shown up, Brækhus couldn’t help but see the funny side in the stunt. Giggling she called out to the audience, “I haven’t got that in a while.”
The 36-year-old, who donned a red suit for the occasion, will certainly be feeling the pressure to retaliate in Saturday’s bout. Could the kiss provoke her to fight harder? Or, could it have knocked her off the pedestal upon which she stands?
This isn’t the first time that Lauren has used such a trick. She used the same tactic in 2013 when she came up against Christina Hammer. Lauren ultimately lost that fight.
This is certainly one way to get in your opponent’s head.
It’s all about those mind games!
Brækhus, who has won eight of her fights’ by a knockout, luckily took the stunt in good humor. Unable to regain her composure, the stare-down was officially over as a giggling Brækhus stood at the side of the stage and Lauren appeared to leave, whilst bodyguards came forward to separate the pair.
Brækhus, who was born in Columbia but adopted by parents in Norway, started kickboxing at the age of 14. Quickly she began to compete in amateur competitions, where she had an impressive record before turning professional.
Meanwhile, Lauren began her sporting career as a swimmer and didn’t make her boxing debut until 2009. As a swimmer she trained for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, but in 2005 she was arrested for having anabolic steroids in her home. She was sentenced to one year and two months for doping and weapon crimes. Whilst in prison, she studied nutrition and worked as a physical trainer for the other inmates.
Upon leaving prison she moved to Santa Monica in the US to work on a career as a professional boxer.
Kissing the opponent during a pre-fight press conference isn’t new. In 2015, Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan attempted to plant a kiss on Chris Eubank Jr. ahead of their big fight. However, this kiss provoked a much more dramatic reaction with a brawl breaking out between both camps. O’Sullivan lost that fight.
It would appear that a pre-match kiss is a certain way to ensure you lose.
Could this Saturday prove different? Watch this space!