The superfly unification fight on Saturday between Juan Francisco Estrada and Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez drew a lot of attention, and rightly so. But the co-main event, which includes another rematch – this one between Cecilia Braekhus and Jessica McCaskill – is worth more than your time.
Because it’s women’s boxing at its best.
For those who have been clamoring for more visibility for women of soft science, McCaskill-Braekhus 2 is about as well placed as it gets as the main co-event of one of the most anticipated fights of the year. With the undisputed female welterweight titles on the line, it’s not just any fight. It’s a clash between a woman who was once considered the queen of boxing in Braekhus (36-1, nine KOs) and McCaskill (9-2, three KOs), who pulled off the major upheaval last summer.
Here are four reasons why this high-stakes fight is a must-see event:
Show and prove for McCaskill
When McCaskill enters the ring, she’s not around to mess around. Her aggressive approach was the reason she was able to secure a decision against Braekhus on their first outing. By constantly pushing forward, “CasKILLA” kept Braekhus on her back foot for much of the contest and forced her to fight back to get back into the fight in the later laps. With women’s boxing still having two-minute rounds, a quick start could put the champion in first place to hold onto. It also means we should have an exciting fight, as what McCaskill lacks in technique, she more than makes up for the heart.
Do or die for Braekhus
Before suffering her first controversial loss, Braekhus had claimed her claim as the best fighter on the planet. She is one of eight boxers – male or female – to simultaneously hold four major world titles. This is largely due to the fact that Braekhus masters his craft as a boxer-puncher who uses his skills to outperform the competition. Maybe she was sleeping behind the wheel for the first half of their initial meeting. But “The First Lady” is enraged by an opponent who promises to throw a retirement party for the former champion by the end of the night. And, honestly, if Braekhus loses, that just might be the end of the road for her. At 39, she might decide that’s it if she misses.
Styles make fights
Fights featuring a brawler versus a boxer tend to be tantalizing encounters, and given the stakes in this rematch, you can rest assured that none of the fighters will underestimate their opponent. McCaskill’s forceful approach worked when it came to convincing the judges to give him the tight laps. Braekhus is aware of what has happened and will not have the luxury of waiting to find openings. When a skilled boxer is forced to fight a brawler, it usually becomes a treat for the fans.
Women’s boxing deserves our attention
Women’s boxing has unfortunately been underserved for a very long time, for various reasons. But today’s stars have the potential to finally give women the show they deserve. Claressa Shields, Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano are just a few of the wonderful fighters who are at their peak. And now we’ll see two of the best take part in a co-main event? If you are complaining about the lack of visibility of women’s boxing then you should do everything you can to watch this one. (It’ll be on DAZN.) But you can’t just watch it; you need to tweet about it and let the world know that women’s boxing is relevant and that fighters deserve as much, if not more, attention than their male counterparts. With attention comes money; they deserve it too.