Jessica McCaskill backed up her claim to the undisputed welterweight championship in emphatic fashion on Saturday, defeating Cecilia Brækhus in a rematch that proved far more clear-cut than their first meeting.
Six months after McCaskill sprang a major upset with a narrow 10-round majority decision to capture Brækhus’s WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO titles at 147lbs, the American delivered a far more convincing performance in the return engagement.
While it wasn’t quite as one-sided as the official scores of 110-89, 99-90 and 98-91 might suggest, there was little question that McCaskill was the deserving winner. (The Guardian scored it 96-93 for McCaskill.)
McCaskill (10-2, 3 KOs), the 35-year-old banker from Chicago who balances her boxing career with a full-time job as a regulatory reporting analyst for brokerage giant RJ O’Brien & Associates, was the busier and more aggressive fighter from the opening bell.
Brækhus (36-2, 9 KOs) came on strong in the later rounds – not unlike their first meeting in Tulsa back in August – but it wasn’t enough to overcome the champion’s insurmountable lead on the cards.
The fight served as the co-main event for Juan Francisco Estrada’s split-decision victory over Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez in thriller to unify the WBC and WBA belts at 115lbs.
Estrada (42-3, 28 KOs) avenged his loss to Gonzalez in November 2012 by triumphing on two judges’ scorecards in a back-and-forth rematch. Estrada hung on despite a phenomenal finish in the 12th round by Gonzalez (50-3, 41 KOs), who buckled Estrada’s knees with a combination.
Judge David Sutherland scored it 115-113 for Estrada, and Carlos Sucre favored Estrada 117-111. Judge Jesse Reyes scored the bout 115-113 for Gonzalez.
Some fans at the American Airlines Center booed Mexico’s Estrada as he celebrated a victory over Nicaragua’s Gonzalez. Estrada called for a third bout with Gonzalez in his post-fight interview.