The Boxing Esq. Podcast, Ep. 57: Jessica McCaskill and Rick Ramos
The Ring is proud to present “The Boxing Esq. Podcast with Kurt Emhoff”. Emhoff, an attorney based in New York City, is a top boxing manager who has represented over 10 world champions in his 20-plus years in the sport.
His guests on this episode are the undisputed Women’s World Welterweight and unified WBC/WBA Junior Welterweight Champion Jessica McCaskill and her manager/trainer Rick Ramos.
Jessica and Rick talked about their backgrounds growing up in Illinois and how both of them came to the sport of boxing. Jessica spoke about her time at Pagedale Boxing in St. Louis with the late sage trainer Marvin “Coots” Millett. Rick talked about his opening of the Body Shot Boxing Club and how he competes with the fitness gyms and stays afloat during the pandemic.
They got into how Jessica’s big fights with Katie Taylor and Cecilia Braekhus got made and how Rick thought he might have burned a bridge with Eddie Hearn. They spoke about how difficult it is to fight in your hometown and the challenges of maintaining focus while being pulled in a million directions marketing the fight.
Additionally, they discussed what’s next for Jessica and how big fight rematches with Katie Taylor and Cecilia Braekhus are possible and how a super fight with Claressa Shields is also in play.
Below are a few excerpts from the interviews:
Jessica McCaskill on whether the magnitude of her victory over long-reigning Welterweight Champion Cecilia Braekhus had sunk in yet:
“Yeah, it’s sunk in. The night of – was pretty epic. It felt like the world was moving so fast and so slow at the same time. And there were a couple of people that actually drove to Oklahoma from our boxing family and we got a chance to just hang out with and got a chance to break the bubble a little bit finally and just spend time with each other. Our phones were going crazy. And you know, the last time I looked at my phone – it was like 3:00 AM. I have no idea what time we actually fell asleep. But, it was a really great moment to live in and I tried my best to really enjoy every piece of that. And now we’re just back to business. So, people ask me, do you feel different? And I feel like I’ve had so many other monumental moments in my life, even as a kid, just being a first-generation graduate where I get my diploma and those types of moments change you forever. And this is, I feel like there’s more to do so, I don’t feel any different. But I am very excited to represent female boxing and just raise the bar for boxing altogether.”
McCaskill on how she prepared for Braekhus during the pandemic:
“We figured she would have one or two plans. One, her normal move and jab and kind of stay on the bike. Or two, she would come in and try to fight. And right at about halfway through the first round, I’m gauging, I’m moving and I’m trying to see what she’s doing and I realized she’s coming in. And so that’s when I decided, okay, we’re going to take the fight to her and she’s coming in, let’s go back at her. And we did. Rick had me doing very specific things that you could see in that fight. He had the punching from the outside, nice long punches, in and out, hand speed, punch and move. Then when we came on the inside, we knew she was going to hold and you see that right uppercut come in from me. And those are the things that we practice. And those are the things that we practiced during the pandemic and just used that time to really think about strategy and planning. And we came out on top because of it.”
Rick Ramos on the new generation of women’s fighters:
“I think the females who fought in the amateurs in the last six to seven years are, I would say real fighters. And the people who fought in the amateurs in like 2002 to 2008, in my opinion, those weren’t. I was around – don’t forget I was working corners. I had fighters. And I was in that circuit and I saw a lot of women who shouldn’t have been in a ring. They were just, it wasn’t even amateurs. It was like, whatever. It was like kindergarten, you know. And, not only that, it’s like girls had a hundred fights, but they fought 10 girls, 10 times. So to me, you only have 10 fights. That’s how I always saw it. And I feel like, I don’t think a lot of people see it the same way, but I do. And I think that I was one of, I dunno, three people on the planet who thought we could beat Cecilia and everybody told me I was nuts. And I’m like, she’s just not from this generation. We should smoke her. And I just felt like Jessica would outhustle her – and she did. And that’s why we’re here.”
Ramos on whether Braekhus should exercise her rematch clause with McCaskill and who he would like McCaskill to fight next:
“I mean there’s a rematch clause – to answer your question. Yes, there is. But I don’t know if (Braekhus will) take it so fast. I know Eddie’s trying to press it for November, December. I don’t see her taking the rematch that soon. So I don’t know if she’s going to try to push it back a little bit, or I don’t know if she’s going to want a fight in between, or change trainers again. I don’t know. I think that we should fight Katie (Taylor) from a business standpoint.
For Cecilia, this is free advice for her, but I think she should let Jess fight Katie. She can fight Jessica, if we win or lose. She could fight Jessica after the Katie Taylor fight. Or she can fight the person she wants to after that fight, the winner or loser. So I think that buys her more fights cause she has the rematch clause. So I mean she can negotiate, Hey, you know what? Let’s just fight in six to eight months where you can go ahead and she could take step aside money and we can go fight Katie and revisit Cecilia later on. I think that from a financial standpoint, I think it’s good for all three of us. Meaning Jessica, Katie, and Cecilia – plus, you know, we have a crazy momentum right now. I don’t think Cecilia has momentum right now. And I think that there’s already doubt by the fans and the people about Cecilia’s will. So I think she’s obviously on a decline. So I think the momentum is Katie and Jessica and I think that Eddie will protect that momentum, I hope. And we’ll see. I mean to answer your question. Yes. But I don’t know if she’ll take the rematch in November or December.”