Cecilia Braekhus beats Victoria Bustos to stay on course for Katie Taylor showdown
Alexander Besputin and Zhilei Zhang also victorious in Monte Carlo.
By Matt Horan
Last Updated: 01/12/19 1:02am
Cecilia Braekhus moved closer to a huge showdown against Katie Taylor after successfully defending her undisputed welterweight crown in Monte Carlo on Saturday night.
The Norwegian 38-year-old had been out of the ring for almost a year but returned in style, dominating former two-weight world champion Victoria Bustos over ten rounds - earning scores of 99-91 and 98-92 twice.
'First Lady', economical with her variety of punches, went through the gears and showed her class as she made her 25th straight world title defence.
After a glowing start to life under the Matchroom Boxing banner, Braekhus is now set to meet Taylor in a mouthwatering battle of undisputed champions.
"That was a great performance from Cecilia. The future is Katie Taylor against Cecilia Braekhus," promoter Eddie Hearn said afterwards.
"Another fight for both in the spring and then they will fight in the summer. It's the biggest fight in boxing.
"These two are on a collision course and in 2020 you'll definitely see that fight."
Braekhus agreed with the plans and was pleased with her performance: "It was a good ten rounds to get back in business. I got into my groove in the third round.
"Now I want to go on holiday and then get back in the gym."
Elsewhere, Alexander Besputin took three scores of 116-112 to beat fellow unbeaten Russian Radzhab Butaev after a tremendous battle for the vacant WBA welterweight world title.
Besputin had that bit more quality, showcasing brilliant footwork and head movement, as he improved his record to 14-0.
'Big Bang' Zhilei Zhang got some much-needed rounds under his belt as he returned to beat Andriy Rudenko over ten rounds.
The huge Chinese heavyweight dominated the contest to remain unbeaten, taking scores of 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93, but did tire late on and failed to capitalise on some clear stoppage opportunities.