Professional boxer Mikaela Laurén is set to fight Croatian Ivana Habazin for the title of WBC World Champion in the female super welterweight class in the Swedish capital this weekend.
But the Swede has said that she will pull her gloves out of the ring unless organizers agree to scrap the traditional 'ring girls' – usually a couple of women wearing a very scarce amount of clothing – who hold up the official scores on signs for spectators to see.
Instead, she wants a pair of very attractive ring men, all in the name of Sweden's famous gender equality.
“If all the guys have ring girls at their matches, then I as a girl should have ring boys. To me, this is obvious – otherwise it is discrimination. I have used ring guys in my five last matches and am going to have it this time around as well,” Laurén told the Aftonbladet tabloid.
Laurén, 40, is a former national team swimmer who took up boxing in 2009.
She has won 26 out of 29 professional boxing matches so far, but warned on Tuesday that unless her request is heeded she will cancel her participation in the highly-anticipated competition.
“I refuse to have a ring girl walking around as a sexual object at a match where two girls are fighting. That would just be crazy. This show is on us girls, and then it's only fair to have some male eye candy,” she said.
“Either the promoter finds a solution, or I'll take care of it myself. It's no problem finding a good-looking guy who could walk around there with the sign,” said Laurén.
But Nisse Sauerland from Sauerland Promotion, who is organizing the Nordic Fight Night competition at the Swedish capital's Hovet arena, told Aftonbladet that he “respects Mikaela's opinions” and “would try to get a ring boy for Saturday's match”.
Laurén welcomed the decision and said she would in that case give it her all for a win.
“I have never felt better. I say that ahead of every match, but I really am in better shape than ever. I promise that there's going to be a show,” she said.