Jessica McCaskill left little doubt about the outcome of her immediate rematch with Cecilia Braekhus.
An aggressive McCaskill was more active and landed the harder punches to defeat the former undisputed women’s welterweight champion much more convincingly in their second fight Saturday night in Dallas. McCaskill, who upset Braekhus by majority decision nearly seven months ago, won their 10-round rematch by unanimous decision on the Juan Francisco Estrada-Roman Gonzalez undercard at American Airlines Center.
McCaskill beat Braekhus very comfortably on the scorecards of judges Javier Alvarez (98-91), Gloria Martinez Rizzo (99-90) and Chris Tellez (100-89), who scored all 10 rounds for McCaskill. Her second straight defeat to McCaskill won't bring an end to the 39-year-old Braekhus’ terrific career, according to what she told DAZN's Chris Mannix in her post-fight interview.
Chicago’s McCaskill (10-2, 3 KOs) retained the IBF, IBO, WBA, WBC and WBO welterweight titles she won from Norway’s Braekhus (36-2, 9 KOs) on August 15 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Braekhus went off as an 8-1 favorite that night, but two judges favored McCaskill’s activity and aggression, and she won a 10-round majority decision (97-93, 97-94, 95-95).
The 36-year-old McCaskill’s upset ended boxing’s longest championship reign and prohibited Braekhus from breaking Joe Louis’ longstanding record for consecutive title defenses within the same division (25). Braekhus owned the WBA and WBC titles from March 2009 until McCaskill beat her.
A more accurate Braekhus had some success in the 10th round Saturday night, but McCaskill’s lead obviously was insurmountable by that point.
Braekus’ right uppercut caught McCaskill with about a minute remaining in the ninth round. Braekhus landed a straight right as McCaskill came forward with 30 seconds to go in that ninth round.
McCaskill continued catching the taller Braekhus with overhand rights as Braekhus came forward in the eighth round. At that point, McCaskill seemed to be in complete control of their rematch.
McCaskill landed a right to Braekhus’ head at the start of the seventh round. Braekhus nailed McCaskill with an overhand right late in the seventh round, but referee Rafael Ramos deducted a point from Braekhus several seconds later for pushing down McCaskill’s head.
McCaskill landed a right hand out of a clinch with 1:17 to go in the sixth round, but Braekhus had success later in that round. She clipped McCaskill with a right hand with 35 seconds remaining in the sixth.
Braekhus landed a short, left hook with about 20 seconds remaining in the fifth round.
McCaskill connected with another right to the side of Braekhus’ head early in the fourth round. Another straight right by McCaskill clipped Braekhus in the second minute of the fourth round.
McCaskill’s right to the side of Braekhus’ head knocked her off balance about 20 seconds into the third round. Braekhus stumbled into the ropes, but she didn’t appear hurt by that shot.
McCaskill remained the aggressor throughout that third round.
Braekhus caught McCaskill with a right uppercut early in the second round, but McCaskill came right back with a left hook. McCaskill’s overhand right staggered Braekhus with 25 seconds to go in the second round and made her move away from McCaskill, into a corner.
McCaskill set a face past as soon as their rematch began Saturday night. She connected with a right hand that backed Braekhus into the ropes 30 seconds into their fight.
Braekhus landed a right hand of her own with just under a minute to go in the opening round. McCaskill came back to blast Braekhus with a right hand that made the former champion retreat with about 15 seconds left in the first round.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.