Ronda Rousey's head trainer, Edmond Taverdyan, isn't shy about bragging about his star pupil and boxing skills. In fact, he recently claimed that "Rowdy" would win an Olympic gold medal in boxing -- to accompany her bronze medal in Judo -- if given the opportunity.
If that weren't enough, he also boldly stated that the Ultimate fighting Championship (UFC) women's bantamweight champion would beat newly-signed Holly Holm in a straight-up boxing match. The same Holly Holm that owns numerous world titles in the "sweet science" and earned "Fighter of the Year" six years in a row from 2005-2010.
Those comments didn't sit too well with the best female boxer today, Cecilia Braekhus, who is undefeated (26-0) and owns the IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO titles. In a conversation with Boxing Scene, Cecilia labeled Edmond's statements "disrespectful."
She also said that while she respects Rousey's skills in mixed martial arts (MMA), she'd be happy to fly to Vegas and take on her in a boxing match if she does indeed echo the sentiments of her confident trainer.
‘'Ronda is an exceptional athlete, she is at the very top of her discipline and for that she has my full respect. But for her coach to say she could win a world title in her first boxing match is a little disrespectful. I'm not sure if this is something she truly believes or whether it is just a throw away comment from her coach. But if it is something she believes and she is up to the challenge, I would happily defend my titles against her. I would even travel to Las Vegas to fight her on her home turf."
Keep in mind, as Cecilia mentioned, Rousey herself is not the one making these claims, but rather her coach. As well he should, after all, if your head trainer doesn't believe in you, then who will?
Still, Edmond's claims and predictions (such as this one) have drawn the ire of other top female boxers, including Ann Wolfe, a former champ who didn't even want to mention Rousey's name, but had no problem telling her to step into the squared-circle to take on her daughter, Jennifer Fen -- who is undefeated (9-0) and ranked No. 1 in the nation -- and "get her ass whooped."
While no one -- aside from Wolfe -- is questioning Ronda's improved stand up, competing in a pure boxing fight against decorated boxers with countless titles and knockout victories to their credit, is a completely different animal.
Having said that, while a crossover match against Braekhus is highly unlikely as long as Rousey is under a UFC contract, is "Rowdy's" coach writing checks with her name on them that she may not be able to cash when the time comes?