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6 Dec, 2020 11:21

‘Like flicking a switch’: Female boxing star with ‘two faces’ arrested on suspicion of murdering husband with blunt object at home

‘Like flicking a switch’: Female boxing star with ‘two faces’ arrested on suspicion of murdering husband with blunt object at home

Viviane Obenauf, a former boxing champion and Olympic gymnast, has been arrested in connection with the death of her restaurateur husband after a seven-week investigation into his brutal death in the apartment they shared.

Obenauf's 61-year-old husband, who was a well-known proprietor in the Swiss town of Interlaken, was found dead in the home he lived in with her above his restaurant on October 19.

The unnamed businessman died of "massive injuries" from a "sustained violent assault” in an attack that led to a drone reportedly being flown over the flat and Obernauf's gym being raided by police.

The couple had married in January and been pictured posing for photos with Obenauf's son on her Instagram account, where she describes herself as a huge fan of Anthony Joshua and has shared snaps alongside the heavyweight champion and other high-profile boxers.

34-year-old Obenauf won 14 of her 20 professional fights and provided undefeated lightweight champion Katie Taylor's second opponent in 2016, although her finest hour arrived when she beat Natasha Jonas to briefly hold the WBA featherweight title in 2018.

Martin Soche, a friend of Obenauf's husband, was one of the last people to see the man alive. "He was easy to get along with and worked with passion," he told Blick after the tragedy.

"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."

A bricklayer and bodybuilder who had a relationship with Obenauf after meeting her in a restaurant told Blick that the Brazil-born former Olympian "always had two faces," describing her temperament as "like flicking a switch. "

"It was Good Friday, and for once we wanted to drink some red wine to celebrate the day," he claimed of one incident with Obenauf, saying she had become "very jealous" about his frequent contact with a colleague.

"She hit me directly in the face with her fist about three or four times. Then I heard that she was getting dressed in the bedroom."

While he alleged his mouth had been bloodied by a split lip, the man said Obenauf had been preparing to go for a drive.

“I told her that in her condition she would certainly no longer be able to drive," he recalled, adding that he halted later legal action after the death of his mother deprived him of the "strength" for a court hearing.

"She hit me directly in the face three or four times with her fist. I gave her a slap in the face to bring her down. Then she slowly calmed down and went to sleep. "

"I wanted to get her to lose her boxing license. It was dangerous, and I asked myself: 'What will happen to the next one?'"

Blick said that Obenauf had been taken into custody three weeks after the incident and held without charge since then.

An 82-year-old man, described as a "close confidante" of Obenauf, gave a speech at their wedding.

"I knew both of them very well and the death has shocked me," he said. "I was a little skeptical [about their marriage] but when I got to know [him], I knew, 'this is [the right] man.'

"We celebrated in a hotel on Lake Thun and they were both very happy. She is a sensitive soul - this loss will sadden her incredibly. On the outside, she will take what has happened with composure.

"[She] was always very popular with men. It is possible that someone who had been rejected saw how great the relationship between them was and wanted to beat him up out of jealousy."

The Swiss outlet also said that Obenauf's sports car and family car had been spotted outside the apartment since the death, reporting that she looked through the door before chatting to a friend outside.

It added that she had been apprehended in a London nightclub after punching a man in retaliation to allegedly being groped during her 30th birthday celebrations in October 2016.

The fighter retired following an unsuccessful challenge for the IBO title last year, losing by decision to Terry Harper at Manchester Arena, and had begun working in the hospitality industry before opening her gym.

Her emphatic win over Jonas catapulted her into the spotlight courtesy of the shock knockout at Cardiff's Ice Arena, where she sent the previously unbeaten British olympian to the canvas three times on the way to the bout being waved off by the referee.

Candles and flowers have been placed outside the entrance of the restaurant, which has furloughed staff while it is indefinitely closed.

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