Ladies trade leather: Jessica McCaskill makes it stick with 2nd win over Cecelia Braekhus
SAN DIEGO, Calif., March 13, 2021 – When American Jessica McCaskill (10-2, 3 KOs) upset Cecelia Braekhus of Norway (36-2, 9 KOs) last October to become the world undisputed women’s welterweight champion, a rematch was far from certain. After suffering the first loss of her impressive career, Braekhus strongly hinted at her retirement. Upon going home for a rest, Braekhus reconsidered, and the fans were the winners no matter the outcome.
McCaskill put a stamp on her earlier win, defeated Braekhus by an even wider margin than in their first bout. Scores were 100-89, 99-98, and 98-91.
McCaskill gave credit to trainer Rick Ramos for the gameplan. Ramos quit his day job to train McCaskill full time for this rematch.
“Rick Ramos is the most brilliant trainer of all time!” said McCaskill. “I’m very happy with it, I was in total control of that ring.”
McCaskill came out blasting at the bell. Braekhus, looking much far stronger than in their first bout, was standing up to the pressure when McCaskill landed a hard overhand right at the end of the two-minute round. If she’d had another minute, the fight might have played out a lot differently.
Neither woman backed off. Braekhus returned the favor with a hard uppercut in round 2. The pair were engaging more aggressively in their first fight. McCaskill landed the overhand right again. Trainer Rick Ramos encouraged McCaskill to be patient, saying, “That punch will be there all night.”
Ramos was right. The pair continued to trade leather. The fight followed McCaskill’s game plan, and Braekhus played along instead of using her experience and boxing skills to overcome McCaskill’s power and aggression.
Braekhus began to score with more shots, but she didn’t have the same power as McCaskill, and the effort came too late. It didn’t help Braekhus’ cause when she was docked a point, but it wasn’t the difference.
“I want to work, I want to fight, I want to train,” said McCaskill. But in her immediate future, it’s back to her full-time day job. “I have to show up for work, there’s now days off. It’s real life!” laughed McCaskill. McCaskill is now in line for a big money fight, and the one she wants is a rematch with Ireland’s Katie Taylor. “Katie Taylor, let’s do it!”
McCaskill said she would also willingly face Claressa Shields if Shields would drop to welterweight. We’re up for the Taylor grudge match, at least first.
Braekhus took the loss with a good attitude. “I have to see it again. McCaskill is a tough woman, I congratulate her,” said Braekhus. “She’s a tough fighter.”
Unlike after their first fight, Braekhus didn’t even hint at retiring. “I love boxing, if there is a good fight out there for me, I’m going to take it. I feel fine. I’m going on a week’s vacation, and I’m back in the gym again. She’s more busted up than I am.”
Light flyweights bring it until injury hands Kyoguchi TKO win over Vega
A disappointing end to an all-action fight between WBA World Light Flyweight champion Hiroto Kyoguchi (15-0, 10 KOs), defending his title successfully for the third time against challenger Axel Aragon “El Mini” Vega of Ensenada, Mexico (14-5-1, 8 KOs).
The pair were trading serious leather, and the more experienced Vega was giving Kyoguchi all he could handle. Vega, just 4-foot-10, was making Kyoguchi fight his preferred style. But in the fifth round, Vega hit the top of Kyoguchi’s head and fractured a metacarpal bone in his hand. The fight was immediately waved off for a TKO victory to the champion at 1:32 of the round. Kyoguchi will reluctantly take the win but he’ll have some things to work on thanks to the test from Vega.
Souleyman Cissokho enters super welterweight sweepstakes with TKO win
Due to the abrupt end of the bout, fans were treated to a swing bout between super welterweights Souleymane “TKO” Cissokho of France via Senegal (12-0, 8 KOs) and Daniel Echeverria of Durango, Mexico (21-11, 18 KOs).
Cissokho is a 2016 Olympic bronze medalist for France, trained by Vergil Hunter, managed by Anthony Joshua, and mentored by Andre Ward. Talk about a gold-plated resume.
Echeverria was a late replacement and didn’t come into the fight in any sort of condition to Cissokho. Cissokho took his time, got in some valuable rounds displaying beautiful form and speed. Cissokho scored a nicely timed right hand to score a knockdown with a minute left in round 5.
Credit to Echeverria, he didn’t fold, but at the end of the round the pair had a clash of heads, and Echeverria got the worst of it. The clock was ticking. After a knockdown and more battering in the sixth round, the fight was stopped to give Cissokho the TKO win and spare Echeverria any more damage.
Cissokho believes he is competitive with the top names at 154 pounds. It’s a competitive division and if Cissokho is speaking the truth, we’re in for some entertaining fights in the future.
Williams works for the win against Douglin
Prospect Austin “Ammo” Williams of Houston (8-0, 6 KOs) faced the toughest test of his career against late replacement Denis Douglin of Las Vegas (22-8, 14 KOs). The veteran Douglin is as tough as nails, and he forced Williams to dig down and deliver. Any other opponent would have been dropped by several power shots, including a second-round left hook, a fifth-round hard left to the body, and a seventh-round right uppercut. While the flashy knockouts are fun, fights like this one produce more growth in young talent. Credit to Douglin for staying in shape, taking the fight, and giving it his best.
Raymond Ford survives for a draw against Aaron Perez
Featherweight prospect Raymond Ford of Camden, New Jersey (8-0-1, 4 KOs) got a tougher fight than expected from another undefeated fighter who didn’t want the first loss on his record, Aaron Perez of Alburquerque (10-0-1, 6 KOs). The pair put on an action-packed fight to an eight-round draw. Scores were 78-74 for Perez, 77-75 for Ford, and 76-76. Promoter Eddie Hearn had expressed concerns about Ford’s opponent, and he turned out to be right. These bouts are good learning experiences for young fighters.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal is a veteran boxing observer covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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