Boxer sentenced to 16 years for murdering husband with baseball bat

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Former world title challenger Viviane Obenauf has been sentenced to 16 years in prison after being found guilty of murder. The Brazilian boxer stood trial more than two years ago in connection to the death of her 61-year-old husband – who is only identified as “Thomas” due to Swiss protection law.

Obenauf, 36, was arrested in December 2020, two months after Thomas’ death. According to a police investigation report, she struck her victim 19 times in the head with a baseball bat at their home in Interlaken, Switzerland.

Obenauf pleaded not guilty to the crime, but prosecutors were able to provide evidence beyond any reasonable doubt, including blood samples obtained from clothing worn by both Obenauf and the victim.

Reports from the Swiss publication Blick suggest that the couple were in a dispute over Obenauf carrying a baby through artificial insemination with Thomas’ negative reaction believed to be the motive behind her crime. Obenauf had only married her husband in January 2020, about 10 months prior to the incident.

Speaking to the same publication, friend Martin Soche said of Thomas: “He was easy to get along with and worked with passion. I had borrowed glasses from him for a birthday party and had to bring them back.

“Then we had another beer together. And now he’s just not there anymore. It has shaken everyone up.”


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Further reports suggest that Obenauf has a history of violent crime. The super featherweight and lightweight boxer was arrested in a London nightclub after punching a man in retaliation to allegedly being groped in October 2016. Meanwhile, one of her ex-boyfriends has since come forward to allege that he was beaten by Obenauf during a drunken dispute.

Obenauf retired from professional boxing following her November 2019 defeat to Brit Terri Harper. The Rio de Janeiro native rounded off her career with a record of 14-6 having fought some of the best women of her generation including Katie Taylor, Chantelle Cameron and Maïva Hamadouche.

Her crowning glory came in August 2018 when she upset the odds to stop Liverpudlian Natasha Jonas in the fourth-round of their super-featherweight bout at the Ice Arena Wales in Cardiff. Jonas – a former world amateur championship bronze medallist – has since gone on to establish herself as one of the most recognisable faces in British women’s boxing and is the current WBO, WBC, and IBF super welterweight champion.

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