Cecilia Braekhus Will Fight Jessica McCaskill Early in 2021
By David A. Avila
Let’s run it back.
After pausing a month former welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus announced the rematch with new champion Jessica McCaskill will take place, it was announced on Monday.
It’s no surprise to those following both champions careers.
“We knew she would be back and that it would only be a matter of time,” said McCaskill whose victory could be the leading candidate for Upset of the Year.
Matchroom Boxing said no new date or place has been established but that the rematch between undisputed welterweight champion McCaskill (9-2) of Chicago and former champion Braekhus (36-1) of Norway will take place sometime in early 2021. No site has been determined.
When both agreed to fight each other earlier this summer a rematch clause was part of the agreement.
Braekhus has agreed to the rematch.
Back on August 15, in the downtown area of Tulsa, Oklahoma, WBC and WBA super lightweight titlist McCaskill accepted a challenge to move up to the welterweight division to meet Braekhus for the undisputed championship. After 10 two-minute rounds of back and forth momentum, McCaskill was ruled the winner by majority decision.
It sent shockwaves all over the boxing world especially with Braekhus looking to snap a tie with the late great heavyweight Joe Louis for most world title defenses at 25. That opportunity is now gone.
McCaskill, 36, used her smothering style to nullify the reach of the Norwegian fighter who had never been defeated in 13 years. The fighter known as “CasKilla” brawled and bludgeoned her way to the lead early in the fight. It took Braekhus a few rounds to gain her footing.
In the middle rounds Braekhus appeared to figure out the remedy and how to use her reach for an advantage. Slowly the momentum shifted to her favor. But the ability to hurt the shorter McCaskill never happened, as she kept punching even in clinches. Uppercuts landed flush.
The last few rounds it was anybody’s fight. McCaskill was able to fight inside the reach of Braekhus and slip punches. After 10 quick two-minute rounds, all three American judges had different scores.
One judge saw it a draw at 95-95, two others saw McCaskill the winner at 97-94 and 97-93. It was an extremely close fight that did not reveal a clear-cut winner or loser.
McCaskill now has world titles in two weight classes.
“Tulsa is over with and now I have to get up for the rematch which is part of being professional and part of the gameplay,” said McCaskill. “I am a very mentally strong person, I can control how to get from point A to point B, so I will be ready for it.”
Braekhus, 38, took some time off to refresh her mind and erase the only professional loss in her career. She realized she needed to come back.
“It was the weakest performance in my whole career,” said Braekhus. ““It was the weakest performance in my whole career.”
Many expected Braekhus to beat the smaller McCaskill then meet undisputed lightweight world champion Katie Taylor who defeated Delfine Persoon in a rematch a week later. It wasn’t to be. But there is nothing wrong with a McCaskill rematch, especially after a hotly contested battle that could have gone either way.
“A win or a draw would be OK but I also understand the emotional aspect of giving Jessica the win because she fought her heart out, if you were a judge and saw this I can understand that,” said Braekhus giving her assessment.
We shall see early next year.
(Photo by Matchroom Boxing)