♛🇺🇸Jessica McCaskill (9-2-0, 3KO👊) made history tonight in becoming the first fighter to defeat long-reigning Welterweight Queen 🇨🇴🇳🇴Cecilia “First Lady” Brækhus (36-1-0, 9KO👊) to become a simultaneous 2-division Champion, holding the WBA & WBC Junior-Welterweight Titles, and now holding the RING, WBA, WBC, WBO, IBF Welterweight straps as the new Undisputed Champion of the 147 lb class. The fight was close in the exchanges, and competitive throughout, yet the decision itself may come with a bit of controversy, or at least can be viewed as a very debatable outcome given the ebbs and flow of the contest.
In the first round, Jessica McCaskill came in with the intention of making it rough, and uncomfortable for Cecilia Brækhus (Ala 🇺🇸Joe Frazier in some respects), but she stayed comfortable in the pocket and dictated her own pace, landing effectively…nonetheless, McCaskill landed pretty quality shots in her own right. By the second round, McCaskill was snapping out a stiff educated jab, enabling her to get inside and work the body. Brækhus would hold her whenever Jessica worked herself into that range, trying to nullify the work inside, and had mixed results, as McCaskill landed effective at the end of the round.
McCaskills energy started forcing Brækhus to fight her style of fight in the 3rd, so Brækhus fought in the danger zone, doing so without being clipped by a major shot, but had to dig for an alternative method of attack trying to deal with her aggressive opponent inside. There were many ⚖️50/50 exchanges, making it difficult to score during exchanges early on.
In round 5, McCaskill’s best punch landed was a looping right hand to Brækhus forehead. Brækhus ate the shot well, but it was an effective punch for McCaskill trying to accumulate the damage. Round 6 is where Brækhus appeared to finally adjust her right hand to be able to hit the constantly dipping down McCaskill, arching it downward and sweeping it to the side, and 🎯landed it with much higher frequency, and she started to rely more on it due to the success of the increased punch percentage.
In the 7th stanza, Brækhus fought her most intelligent round of the fight, mixing it up, and finally getting back to her desirable range in spots outside, flicking with the jab more and continuing her right hand leads. The 8th round featured a step up in action by both Champions, with each fighter sitting more on their power shots. Brækhus work early won the round, though McCaskill landed a couple 💪🏽solid uppercuts inside during clinches, setting the stage for an interesting finish.
By round 9, you could see the fatigue starting to set in for McCaskill, as she was visibly winded, but she continued to push forth and give it everything she had. Her accuracy level dipped a little bit, but continued to fire away at the taller fighter, while Brækhus seemed to find a second wind after some concern early that she was going to fully out of gas. In the 10th and final round, both fighters went all out, and McCaskill started ripping left hooks and right hands, landing some, but not quite landing the homerun punch. They would fight aggressively all the way down to the 🛎️final bell, trying to make a final stake on the contest for more separation in effective activity.
Neither fighter was over-celebratory, indicating that a possible range of scores could be up in the air. With scores of 95-95, 97-93, and 97-94, Jessica McCaskill was awarded the monumentally historic upset majority decision to become the Undisputed Welterweight Champion of the World. Us here at Project Combat independently had Brækhus ahead, citing adjustments made in the last 4 rounds of the fight to dictate the real-estate successfully. With all that aside, it was good to see McCaskill’s celebration after overcoming prior obstacles in her life, to get to live the pinnacle of her career, which is right now, and as a 👑7 belt Titleholder through 2 divisions, and holding them ALL at the same time.
Here are the official 📝scorecards by the Judges, how we scored the fight, and here are the final punch-stat tallied for the fight.
FINAL PUNCH-STATS 🥊🥊
🤜 Jessica McCaskill = 84/499, 16.9% Landed.
🤜 Cecilia Brækhus = 85/269, 31.6% Landed.
OFFICIAL SCORECARDS ✎🗒️
✎ Karen Holderfield = 95 – 95 for a DRAW
✎ Gerald Ritter = 97 – 93 for JESSICA McCASKILL
✎ David Sutherland = 97 – 94 for JESSICA McCASKILL
PROJECT COMBAT SCORECARDS ✎
✎ Tré Berry = 96 – 94 for CECILIA BRÆKHUS
✎ Jon Uddin = 97 – 93 for CECILIA BRÆKHUS