Jessica McCaskill wins rematch with Cecilia Brækhus to retain undisputed title

Jessica McCaskill backed up her claim to the undisputed welterweight championship in emphatic fashion on Saturday, defeating Cecilia Brækhus in a rematch that proved far more clear-cut than their first meeting.

Six months after McCaskill sprang a major upset with a narrow 10-round majority decision to capture Brækhus’s WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO titles at 147lbs, the American delivered a far more convincing performance in the return engagement.

While it wasn’t quite as one-sided as the official scores of 110-89, 99-90 and 98-91 might suggest, there was little question that McCaskill was the deserving winner. (The Guardian scored it 96-93 for McCaskill.)

McCaskill (10-2, 3 KOs), the 35-year-old banker from Chicago who balances her boxing career with a full-time job as a regulatory reporting analyst for brokerage giant RJ O’Brien & Associates, was the busier and more aggressive fighter from the opening bell.

Brækhus (36-2, 9 KOs) came on strong in the later rounds – not unlike their first meeting in Tulsa back in August – but it wasn’t enough to overcome the champion’s insurmountable lead on the cards.

The fight served as the co-main event for Juan Francisco Estrada’s split-decision victory over Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez in thriller to unify the WBC and WBA belts at 115lbs.

Estrada (42-3, 28 KOs) avenged his loss to Gonzalez in November 2012 by triumphing on two judges’ scorecards in a back-and-forth rematch. Estrada hung on despite a phenomenal finish in the 12th round by Gonzalez (50-3, 41 KOs), who buckled Estrada’s knees with a combination.

Judge David Sutherland scored it 115-113 for Estrada, and Carlos Sucre favored Estrada 117-111. Judge Jesse Reyes scored the bout 115-113 for Gonzalez.

Some fans at the American Airlines Center booed Mexico’s Estrada as he celebrated a victory over Nicaragua’s Gonzalez. Estrada called for a third bout with Gonzalez in his post-fight interview.