For years she was considered one of the best, if not the best, pound-for-pound female boxers in the world, but after losing decisions to Holly Holm and Cecilia Braekhus in back-to-back welterweight world title fights, Anne Sophie Mathis, 26-3 (22), is now on a mission to get back to the top.
On June 1 at the Salle Roger Boileau in her hometown of Dombasle, France, Mathis will move up in weight to fight Dominican Yahaira Hernandez, 14-4 (8), for the vacant World Boxing Federation World Super Welterweight title, attempting to become a three-weight world champion.
At 35 years of age, and almost eighteen years as a professional, Mathis knows that she is in the twilight of her career, and besides winning the WBF World title at Super Welterweight, she has a clear goal for the near future: Revenge!
“I have fought all the best opponents at Welterweight, so we decided to make a change and move up in weight. But my goal is still to get a rematch with Breakhus”, said Mathis.
“If I win this title, I am back and can negotiate a rematch with Breakhus. Sweet revenge!”
Mathis turned pro in 2005, and won her first world title, at Light Welterweight, the following year. In 2011 she captured the WBF World Welterweight title, which she lost to Holly Holm last year in Albuquerque, USA. Prior to that she had brutally knocked Holm out in their first encounter, but a rubber match is likely never going happen as the American recently announced her retirement.
But Breakhus is still out there, and Mathis is still one of the best in the world. Going on the road to fight the Norwegian girl the first time didn’t scare here, and she is ready to do it again if she gets the chance. And with that in mind, Mathis feels that the Hernandez fight is a very special occasion, saying:
“We chose Dombasle for this fight because it will probably be my last opportunity to fight here, in front of my fans, my friends, my family. Even if it means making financial sacrifices, this is where I want to fight this time!”
In Yahaira Hernandez, Mathis will be in with a tough cookie. Hernandez has the experience, power and skills to give Mathis a tough night! The 25-year-old from Santo Domingo is coming off three knockout victories, and she has only come up short in world title-challenges against some of the best:
In 2007 against Natascha Ragosina at Super Middleweight and Karolina Lukasik at Super Welterweight, in 2008 against Jisselle Salandy at Super Welterweight, and in 2011 against WBF World Champion Christina Hammer at Middleweight.
Having struggled with injuries since the Breakhus loss, Mathis is not underestimating Hernandez:
“This will be a tough fight, and I expect a strong challenge from Hernandez. It was hard dealing with the injuries, but I have been injury-free now for two months and have trained twice a day, so I will be in top shape and ready to take care of her!”