All week long, Jessica McCaskill heard about Cecilia Brækhus closing in on boxing history with a chance to break Joe Louis' streak of 25 straight title defenses.
McCaskill also heard Brækhus saying that a win would set up the biggest fight in women's boxing against Katie Taylor.
Well, McCaskill responded with a shocking majority decision win over Brækhus to become the new undisputed women's welterweight champion live from downtown Tulsa, Okla., on Saturday night. Judges scored it in favor of McCaskill 95-95, 97-93 and 97-94. DAZN News scored it 96-94 in favor of Brækhus.
Just like that, McCaskill (9-2, 3 KOs) goes from being homeless at one point in her life to an undisputed world welterweight champion.
"This is for the fourth-grade-year-old homeless Jessica," McCaskill said with pure joy after the bout. "This is for the little girl that just didn't care what people thought about her and learned to love herself even though she was really weird."
"This is for the 4th grade, homeless Jessica. This is for the little girl that just didn’t care what people thought about her, and learned to love herself." pic.twitter.com/RCAYMlYBl8— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) August 16, 2020
The victory halted Brækhus' win streak at 36, as she suffered her first pro loss.
"If this is my last fight, I could leave women's boxing and just say 'I was a part of this. I was a part of taking women's boxing to this level,'" said the 38-year-old Brækhus (36-1, 9 KOs).
Brækhus was the more accurate puncher, landing 32 percent of her punches to McCaskill's 17 percent. But McCaskill wanted it more, with her 499 punches thrown to Brækhus' 269 an indication of just that.
From the opening bell, McCaskill came out and set the tone for the bout by throwing a bevy of punches and simply outworking the "First Lady."
By the middle to late rounds, Brækhus had seemingly managed to counter punches well enough from the aggressor to perhaps eke out the historic title defense. However, judges didn't see it like that, crediting McCaskill for her motor and desire to take the bout.
McCaskill, who's also the unified world super lightweight champion, will now wait to face the winner of the Aug. 22 rematch between Katie Taylor and Delfine Persoon. Taylor defeated McCaskill via unanimous decision back in December 2017.
Here's how the entire Brækhus vs. McCaskill card went.
Brækhus vs. McCaskill results
(All times Eastern)
McCaskill shocks Brækhus to be crowned the new undisputed women's welterweight champion
12:03 a.m.: Judges have it a 95-95, 97-93 and 97-94 majority decision in the favor of McCaskill! DAZN News had it 96-94 in favor of Brækhus, but judges clearly didn't agree. And the new undisputed welterweight champion, Jessica McCaskill.
12:00 a.m.: The official result is about to be announced as the fighters embrace.
Round 10: The fighters touch up the gloves and McCaskill throws a flurry of punches inside. McCaskill also swinging and missing wildly, looking for a difference-maker. Brækhus briefly drives McCaskill back with a couple of straight rights. Brækhus did just enough to win this round and most likely the fight. Let's see how judges score it. 10-9 Brækhus, 96-94 Brækhus
Round 9: Brækhus just misses on a big left hook but has seemed to slow down the fight in these latter rounds and is countering better. This is more of her fight now. Still, McCaskill charging forward and lands to the body. A grazing right hand lands for McCaskill, but she has let Brækhus leverage her style of boxing in this bout. The last round is up next. 10-9 Brækhus, 86-85 Brækhus
Round 8: A stinging right lands for Brækhus. She then counters nicely and lands seconds later. McCaskill is the busier fighter, but Brækhus has been the more precise boxer, landing more shots through this point. 10-9 Brækhus, 76-76
Round 7: McCaskill splits Brækhus' guard with a quick flurry of punches early. She just has to stop dipping her head to the side and giving Brækhus opportunities to land. A crisp right-left combo lands for Brækhus, who's now working well on the outside. An uppercut lands for Brækhus moments later. A good round for the undisputed champ. 10-9 Brækhus, 67-66 McCaskill
Round 6: McCaskill making Brækhus miss, before sneaking in a stiff right hand that lands flush. But McCaskill makes the mistake of putting her head down, and Brækhus makes her pay with some shots inside. Another close round, but McCaskill takes it. 10-9 McCaskill, 58-56 McCaskill
Round 5: McCaskill just keeps on coming before a chopping left from Brækhus briefly stops that momentum. Brækhus is realizing that she could punch down at McCaskill. But as that was said, McCaskill sits down on a big right hand that bangs off Brækhus' head. Solid punch that spells the difference this round. 10-9 McCaskill, 48-47 McCaskill
Round 4: Nice overhand right lands cleanly for Brækhus early on. She's the cleaner puncher. Brækhus digs in and lands an uppercut moments later. She's trying to assert herself inside and use her size. Very close rounds. These two-minute rounds need to go. That extra minute could result in the difference. 10-9 Brækhus, 38-38
Round 3: A left lands for McCaskill, who's the busier fighter thus far. Brækhus needs to up her activity. Brækhus now trying to muscle McCaskill around the ring, but McCaskill keeps punching away. 10-9 Brækhus, 29-28 McCaskill
Round 2: McCaskill asserting the power jab and connects on a right, before Brækhus counters cleanly. A right and left combination from Brækhus lands moments later. McCaskill works to land a left during the waning seconds. McCaskill has broken through inside. 10-9 McCaskill, 20-18 McCaskill
Round 1: Already you can see Brækhus' size advantage, but McCaskill's rep as being the bigger puncher. Brækhus is doing a good job of keeping McCaskill on the outside, but McCaskill was still able to scrape through and plant a couple of left and right hands on the undisputed champ's face and chest. 10-9 McCaskill
11:30 p.m.: Both fighters have been introduced by Jeremiah Gallegos, the ref's instructions have been given and the opening bell just tolled. The main event is now underway!
11:25 p.m.: The "First Lady" Cecilia Brækhus has entered the ring, staring down McCaskill ... and boxing history.
11:23 p.m.: Here comes Jessica McCaskill, who's the unified super lightweight champion, but challenger in this bout.
11:15 p.m.: Cecilia Brækhus vs. Jessica McCaskill is just moments away from downtown Tulsa, Okla. Brækhus' undisputed welterweight crown is on the line. If Brækhus wins, she'll snap Joe Louis' streak of 25 straight title defenses.
Co-main event: Israil Madrimov gets unanimous decision over Eric Walker after ref's wrong call robs him of ninth-round KO
11:00 p.m. Judges' scorecards have it 116-110, 116-111 and 116-110 all in favor of Israil Madrimov (6-0, 5 KOs).
10:55 p.m.: Madrimov gets a point deducted for a low blow, comes out the break and drops Walker with a right. Madrimov is loading up on shots and trying to get the knockout, but Walker survives. Again, this fight should have been ruled a ninth-round KO in favor of Madrimov. Walker had to endure unnecessary abuse.
10:52 p.m.: Madrimov brushes Walker back with a left hook across the jaw. He's adding more power shots but is clearly fatigued himself as this enters the 12th and final round.
10:47 p.m.: Madrimov is going for the knockout and trying to end this bout in the 10th. Walker is staying on his feet with pure grit. We go to the 11th with Madrimov up comfortably.
10:43 p.m.: Walker is up from his stool and the round resumes, with Madrimov greeting him with a powerful right. Madrimov wins the round but should have won the fight. The bout should have been over.
10:41 p.m.: The ref is making things worse by giving Walker five minutes to recover. This is all wrong. Madrimov's momentum is being halted. The fight should have been ended on that punch, with the bout being ruled as a KO.
10:38 p.m.: A massive, lunging left hand from Madrimov sends Walker crashing to the canvas in the ninth round. But the ref calls it a slip! Wrong call. The ref acknowledges that a good punch was thrown by Madrimov, but adds that Madrimov followed through with a shoulder to send Walker down. On the replay, Madrimov's shoulder followed through on momentum and seemed to touch Walker's stomach, but well after the left hand to the face did all the damage.
Madrimov drops Walker, but the referee rules no knockdown.— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) August 16, 2020
10:36 p.m.: Walker has a second wind, digging his shoulder into Madrimov and driving him back while peppering him with stinging shots each time. Another round for Walker, as this one is getting tighter as the rounds go on.
10:30 p.m.: Walker showing plenty of heart, digging into Madrimov's body well and winning this seventh round so far. For whatever reason, Madrimov seemed to take the round off, as the bell tolls.
10:26 p.m.: Madrimov really letting it fly, as he catches Walker with some flush shots to the face that do damage. Walker is trying to fight back but is getting smothered. Madrimov falling as he swings and misses wildly was about the only way Walker got his opponent off him during the sixth round. Madrimov is up four rounds to two ... at the least.
10:23 p.m.: Would have to agree with Sergio Mora saying it's Madrimov's fight from here. His relentless attack to the body is taking its toll on Walker, who should utilize a clinch or two to buy time and try to set combinations up from the outside.
10:19 p.m.: The fight remains tightly in the pocket with Madrimov's power shots, especially to the body, seemingly taking a toll on Walker, who looks a bit fatigued. Walker is 37 to Madrimov's 25. Madrimov definitely asserted his power during the fourth.
10:15 p.m.: Madrimov and Walker in the phone booth for much of the third round, as the former is trying to apply pressure inside. Still, Walker has been able to negate Madrimov's power thus far and he has done it with speed and flat out skills.
10:11 p.m.: Madrimov might be tested like he never has thus far as a pro. Walker stepped back and came across Madrimov's jaw with two rights during the second round. Madrimov ate the shots well. He's going to have to dig in more, as this fight progresses. We've got Walker up two rounds early here.
10:07 p.m.: An action-packed first round has Walker asserting his slick veteran savvy and speed, catching Madrimov with a few crisp combinations, while Madrimov definitely made Walker feel his power.
10:00 p.m.: Eric Walker and Israil Madrimov are in the ring and this co-main event is about to start. This bout is a WBA junior middleweight title eliminator. Madrimov is 5-0 with all knockouts in comparison to Walker, who's 20-2 with 9 KOs.
Nikita Ababiy forced to work against rugged Jarvis Williams, but wins via unanimous decision
9:51 p.m.: Ababiy declared the unanimous decision winner by the scores of 59-55, 59-55 and 58-56. Ababiy gets the win and learns a valuable lesson — never abandon your jab. Still, he improves to 9-0 with 6 KOS.
9:48 p.m.: Well, a cagey Williams definitely made Ababiy work a full six rounds there. Ababiy did snap Williams' head back with a few power shots off combinations during the sixth round.
9:45 p.m.: Here comes the sixth and final round.
9:37 p.m.: Williams might be more than Ababiy bargained for, but Ababiy did tag him with some stiff, thudding body shots and a couple of crunching hooks to the face in the third round.
9:30 p.m.: Let's see if Williams can build on that first round and give Ababiy more issues.
9:28 p.m.: Williams came right out of his corner and blasted Ababiy with an overhand right, adding a razor-sharp left hook moments later to test the undefeated fighter's jaw. The underdog took the first round.
9:15 p.m.: Nikita Ababiy says he hasn't eaten candy in a month — when he's normally used to eating candy every day — and will take out his frustration on Jarvis Williams. Their middleweight clash is up next.
Shakhram Giyasov flattens Wiston Campos with third-round KO
9:08 p.m.: There it is! Giyasov drops Campos with a left-handed liver shot. It was compact but did major damage. Campos just crumbled to the mat ... and he's not going to get up. This one is over, as Giyasov improves to 10-0 with 8 KOs.
Shakhram Giyasov improves to 10-0 🇺🇿💯 pic.twitter.com/AQs7CoEAs2— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) August 16, 2020
9:05 p.m.: Campos' hands were dropped by his waist for much of the second round as a result of Giyasov ripping his body.
9:00 p.m.: Let's see if "Wonder Boy" Giyasov can make it 10-0 and add to his knockout total.
8:57 p.m.: Shakhram Giyasov and Wiston Campos have been introduced and this junior welterweight contest is underway.
Raymond Ford skates to unanimous decision, improves to 6-0
8:42 p.m.: No surprise, Ford wins via unanimous decision (59-54, 60-53, 60-53). He picked up the aggression during the sixth round, opening himself up to counters from Manriquez, but this one wasn't close.
8:30 p.m.: Ford is controlling this bout with the jab.
8:26 p.m.: Ford drops Manriquez with an overhand right in the third round and is in full control.
8:13 p.m.: Eric Manriquez just made his ring walk and here comes 21-year-old Raymond "Savage" Ford. This opening featherweight attraction is slated for six rounds.
8:00 p.m.: We're just minutes away from the start of this main card. Will Cecilia Brækhus break Joe Louis' streak of 25 consecutive title defenses? We will find out tonight! Park it here for all the Brækhus vs. McCaskill live results, updates and highlights from the full card.