While UFC 252 was going on, Matchroom Boxing had an event on DAZN from the literal streets of Downtown Tulsa. In the main event, viewers witnessed a surprise outcome and a debatable decision, as Cecilia Braekhus (36-1, 9 KOs) lost by majority decision to Chicago’s Jessica McCaskill (9-2, 3 KOs).
One judge had it scored a draw while the other two had it 97-94 and 97-93 for McCaskill, who is now the new undisputed welterweight champion after taking all four major belts from Braekhus, who’d held them since 2014. Her reign of dominance in this sport has made her one of the greatest of all-time in women’s boxing and one of the most decorated boxers regardless of gender.
“This is for the fourth grade homeless Jessica, this is for the little girl who just didn’t care what people thought about her even though she was really weird,” McCaskill said after the fight. (via Bad Left Hook)
“I just didn’t stop. I didn’t expect her to be as rough as she was, but I was prepared to be as rough as I had to be,” McCaskill said.
McCaskill also holds two titles at 140 lbs and is interested in rematching Katie Taylor, who beat her by decision at 135 lbs in 2017. Taylor has a rematch with Delfine Persoon next weekend, a little over a year after a controversial decision when Katie’s way.
As for Braekhus, the 38-year-old is perhaps unlucky to have lost her unbeaten record and world titles in this fashion. McCaskill certainly gave Braekhus a lot of trouble in the early rounds but Braekhus appeared to have the edge over the final few rounds. Bad Left Hook scored it 97-93 Braekhus and it looked like she had done enough to remain the champion, but full credit to McCaskill for getting the upset victory. The Norwegian certainly was as classy as ever in defeat and didn’t seem to take much issue with the scoring.
“I just want to congratulate Jessica. She really wanted it, and I’m proud and happy to pass the torch to her,” Braekhus said. “I don’t know what’s going to happen right now, but I’m so proud to be a part of women’s boxing right now. If this is my last fight, I can leave women’s boxing and say I was a part of this, I was a part of taking it to this level. That will be my biggest achievement of all.
“She threw more punches than me and really, really wanted it,” Braekhus said. “I’m not going to say anything more. I want to congratulate her. Take good care of the belts. I know she will do that.”
…Perhaps that also means that we won’t ever get to see Braekhus box Cris Cyborg.
Anyway, watch the highlights at the top of the page.
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