Jessica McCaskill retained her undisputed welterweight championship and all four belts, beating Cecilia Braekhus by wide scores in their rematch tonight in Dallas.
McCaskill (10-2, 3 KO) got the win on scores of 98-91, 99-90, and 100-89. Bad Left Hook’s two separate score cards had it much closer, at 95-94 and 96-93 for McCaskill.
McCaskill, 36, was the much more aggressive fighter, and she clearly did hurt Braekhus a few times early. But Braekhus eventually settled in, picked some good shots, and seemed to take some rounds and make it a much closer fight than the judges wound up seeing, as it appears all three of them flatly favored the aggression. Braekhus also lost a point in the seventh round for holding, which was a questionable call by referee Rafael Ramos, but ultimately didn’t matter on the cards.
Braekhus (36-2, 9 KO) has pretty clearly at this point done as much as she’s going to do in boxing, other than possibly moving up to 154 to fight Claressa Shields, but you have to wonder how much Shields would want to fight someone who’s now lost two straight fights and is turning 40 in September. Braekhus is a bigger name still than almost anyone Shields can box otherwise, but the fight has lost the momentum it once did have.
McCaskill is still calling for a rematch with lightweight champion Katie Taylor — who beat McCaskill in 2017 — which is a fight that could conceivably happen, possibly with something like a 142-pound catchweight.
She also mentioned fighting Shields herself, and the allure of being a three-division undisputed champion really might be something that takes Claressa’s interest, even though she said after her last fight that it will take big money to get her to try to move down to 147.
“I was very happy with my performance,” McCaskill said. “Cecilia’s a tough broad. I told her that in the ring, she ate every punch I put on her face. If Katie Taylor’s the next one, let’s go. If Claressa wants to come down to 147 and see if she can make the weight — we’ve got a lot of options.”
Braekhus hinted strongly at retirement after her first loss to McCaskill, but there was none of that here, as she says she plans to fight on.
“I have to see it again. McCaskill is a tough woman, and I can congratulate her,” Braekhus said. “I love boxing, and if there is a good fight out there for me, I’ll take it. I feel fine. I’m going on a vacation and then I’m back in the gym again. Jessica is more busted up than I am, so I’m ready to go.”