In 12 days, Jessica McCaskill (36) will defend her World Cup titles against Cecilia Brækhus (39). In the McCaskill camp, it is claimed that the Norwegian star has shown over time that she does not have the mental in place.
– Everything that has happened in the last years of Cecilia’s career … She has changed coaches three times, makes hasty conclusions at the last minute, and seems confused. It shows that Cecilia is not mentally stable when it comes to career choices, says Rick Ramos to VG.
He is the longtime coach of McCaskill, and sat in the corner of the American boxer when she became the first to beat Brækhus in a professional boxing match in August last year.
– You can see how mentally weak she is here, McCaskill says in his latest episode of “No Days Off” – a documentary series about her team on YouTube.
When Brækhus hears Ramos’ statements in this article, she has the following comment:
– I can no longer distinguish between lies, accusations or “trash talk” from Team McCaskill. What is certain is that they gear up more and more the closer we get to battle. I do not think they are looking forward to March 13.
After 36 games without a loss, and with all the major World Cup titles in welterweight in the bag, Brækhus was beaten on points in a match that went without spectators in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
SPECIAL: All the matches, facts, photos and videos from Brækhus’ career
At the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, the return settlement will take place in two weeks.
– Cecilia has been extremely important for women’s boxing for many years, but her time is over. She should retire after the first loss, Ramos believes.
After Brækhus ended her collaboration with Team Sauerland in 2015, she got American Johnathon Banks as coach. He sat in her corner in the five subsequent fights, but was busy with another boxer before the meeting with Kali Reis in the US debut in 2018.
According to the plan, Dutch Lucia Rijker would be sitting in the Brækhus corner. But during the last 24 hours, Brækhus flew Banks to LA, and it was he who followed her into the dramatic battle where, for the first time in her career, she was close to being knocked out.
– Does not make sense
Banks continued as coach in the next two games, but then Brækhus switched to Abel Sanchez in Big Bear. They made their debut with the impressive performance in Monte Carlo against Victoria Bustos, before losing to McCaskill in the second match.
– I’ve been following Cecilia for a long time. I think it was a strange thing when she ended up with Abel Sanchez. Cecilia is a no fighter, she’s a boxer. Then she chooses a typical fighter trainer. It does not make sense to me, says Ramos.
He thinks the communication between Brækhus and Sanchez was strange and strange during the settlement in Tulsa.
– There were no spectators there, and completely silent. I brought with me almost all of the communication between them. It seemed as if they were confused, and without the ring ladies they had no control over which round it was, says Ramos and adds:
– It simply looked like Cecilia would not be there.
On the TV pictures from the match, it is also clear that neither Sanchez nor Brækhus are sure which round it is before the tenth and final. The judges finally judge 97-93, 97-94 and 95-95 in favor of McCaskill.
– I have seen the match many times in retrospect. There and then I scored it 96-94 to Jessica, but after seeing it I think it is 97-93. Even though I thought we won, I was not sure. I was shocked that the judges gave us the victory, because often the champion is favored. We saw this in the matches of Katie Taylor against Delfine Persoon, says Ramos.
There has been disagreement about whether the judges came to the right result. Box commentators Erik Nilsen and Thomas Hansvoll were among those who thought she was convicted.
– I rated that match at 97-93 in favor of Brækhus. Of course I have a heart for Cecilia, but also for boxing to be a fair play match, Nilsen told VG in August.
But coach Rick Ramos still believes that the right winner was chosen.
– How does the return match against McCaskill and Brækhus end?
– I think Cecilia opens well in two or three rounds, and then it gets worse for her. She will give up between rounds later in the match. She’s smart enough not to be knocked out, and does not give us that joy. I think she’s already finished her career in many ways, and she’s already talked about quitting. That is a clear sign, says Ramos.