Cecilia Braekhus was taken aback by the trash talk Jessica McCaskill directed toward her after their fight August 15.
They have exchanged words during the promotion of their immediate rematch Saturday night as well. McCaskill made it clear, however, that she doesn’t have anything personal against Braekhus, whom McCaskill upset by majority decision to win the IBF, IBO, WBA, WBC and WBO women’s 147-pound championships.
“This is all business,” McCaskill told BoxingScene.com. “I don’t even know Cecilia. I mean, I feel like she’s just not very stable. She’s not mentally stable. This loss has really jarred her in a way that I don’t think she’s able to come back from. So, we’ll just go ahead and help her get through this, and she’ll retire.”
The 39-year-old Braekhus was boxing’s longest-reigning champion prior to McCaskill’s victory nearly seven months ago. She won the then-vacant WBA and WBC welterweight titles in March 2009 and made 25 straight defenses of those belts before McCaskill beat her on two scorecards in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
McCaskill (9-2, 3 KOs) didn’t just become the first fighter to beat Braekhus (36-1, 9 KOs). The Chicago native also prevented Braekhus from breaking Joe Louis’ longstanding record for consecutive title defenses within the same division.
The 36-year-old McCaskill intends to defeat Norway’s Braekhus more convincingly in a rematch DAZN will stream from American Airlines Center in Dallas. Braekhus believes she did enough in their first fight to overcome McCaskill, who obviously disagrees.
“The fact that none of the judges had Cecilia winning was probably the most accurate part,” McCaskill said. “The punch count is important. I mean, it shows dominance in the ring, and it shows everything that I’ve been able to do in the gym and then execute in the ring. I didn’t have any excuses. I didn’t put anything before what I was actually able to show, and that’s what it has to be. You can’t make excuses and expect people to feel pity for you. This is your job, and you have to do your job.”
Judges David Sutherland (97-93) and Gerald Ritter (97-94) scored their fight for McCaskill. Judge Karen Holderfield scored it a draw, 95-95. According to CompuBox’s unofficial punch stats, Braekhus landed one more punch overall than the more active McCaskill (85-of-269 to 84-of-499).
Their second fight will be the co-feature before another 12-round rematch in which Mexico’s Juan Francisco Estrada (41-3, 28 KOs) will encounter Nicaragua’s Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (50-2, 41 KOs). Estrada, who lost a 12-round unanimous decision to Gonzalez in November 2012, and Gonzalez are set to fight for Estrada’s WBC and Gonzalez’s WBA super flyweight titles.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.