What Could Be Next For Jessica McCaskill, Cecilia Braekhus?
While the initial plan for a women’s superfight may not have come together as planned, Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn is looking at all available options.
Last weekend, Jessica McCaskill beat Cecilia Braekhus to become the WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO, IBO, and The Ring Welterweight Champion. It ended Braekhus’ title defense streak (25) that was one away from breaking Joe Louis’ record. McCaskill won via unanimous decision, with many thinking the fight could have gone either way. Following the fight, Braekhus teased retiring from the sport.
“I don’t know what will happen right now,” Braekhus went on to say. “I’m so proud to be a part of women’s boxing right now. If this is my last fight, I can leave boxing saying that I was a part of this. I took part in women’s boxing at this level. That will be my biggest achievement… Women’s boxing is just in an amazing place right now, they will be just fine without me.”
Braekhus (36-1) made her professional debut in 2007. She won gold in her eleventh pro fight, the WBA and WBC Welterweight Titles. “The First Lady” won WBO gold three fights later against Victoria Cisneros, and added the IBF Title against Ivana Habazin. She would add the IBO title to her collecting in 2016 against Chris Namus.
As far as her future is concerned, Hearn is not convinced she is done fighting just yet.
“I think that it’s very raw in the moment, isn’t it?,” Hearn stated, via Boxing Scene. “You know, I think people can say things after. It certainly sounded like it could be a potential retirement speech, but you know, some of the conversations with Tom Loeffler make you think she might fancy the rematch for that fight. So, it’s early days, but you know, I’m guessing we’ll catch up with her this week and obviously respect any decision and support her a hundred percent, whatever she decides to do.”
McCaskill (9-2) has now won four in a row and is looking to face Katie Taylor in a rematch. Taylor (15-0) is set to face Delfine Persoon in a rematch for the WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO, and The Ring Lightweight Titles. Her initial bout with Amanda Serrano was already nixed, and plans for a Taylor-Braekhus clash appear to have disappeared as well.
McCaskill lost to Taylor for the WBA Lightweight Title in 2017. Since then, she has collected the WBA and WBC Super-Lightweight Titles to go with the welterweight titles. If Taylor can win on Saturday, August 22, McCaskill would have a right to rematch her. It would also be considered a superfight. Hearn, however, may have other plans in mind.
“There may end up being a rematch for that fight in November, December,” said Hearn regarding McCaskill v. Braekhus. “You know, there’s so much on the line for Katie on Saturday, as a team we haven’t talked too much about what’s next. The focus is on winning on Saturday and making sure she remains the undisputed [lightweight] champion. Because you saw last Saturday everybody talking about Braekhus against Taylor, and all of a sudden, the wheels came off. So, it’s very important to stay focused on the task at hand this weekend.”
Braekhus is hoping to be with family as she looks to take a breather. All eyes will be on Taylor, as she will look to keep some talks of future fights, whether against Serrano, McCaskill, or Braekhus, alive.