Three Takeaways: It’s an Incredible Stretch for Women’s Boxing

By: Jonah Dylan The boxing world is finally back to some semblance of normalcy. This weekend we had watered-down cards on multiple networks, horrible judging and extremely questionable refereeing. Oh, and a nonsense belt from the WBA. If that doesn’t represent the official return of boxing, I don’t know what does. Still, there’s a lot to get into. Let’s get to it. August 15, 2020; Tulsa, OK, USA; Undisputed Women's welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus and Jessica McCaskill during their Matchroom main event bout on August 15, 2020 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom 1. Jessica McCaskill just casually flipped the boxing world on its axis McCaskill came into her fight with Braekhus as a clear underdog. That’s not to belittle McCaskill, who was already a unifed champion at super lightweight. It says more about Braekhus, who was considered one of the top pound for pound fighters in the world and had made 25 defenses of her welterweight title. She was undefeated and had been the undisputed champ for years. McCaskill fought like she knew what she was up against, outworking Braekhus and taking the fight to her to earn a hard-fought majority decision win in a DAZN main event. Braekhus hinted at retirement after the fight, but a rematch could certainly be in order if she wants to fight on. As for McCaskill, she’s set up for another shot at Katie Taylor, assuming Taylor wins her rematch with Delfine Persoon this Saturday. McCaskill lost to Taylor in 2017 but is more than deserving of another crack at the undisputed lightweight champion. I’d still like to see Taylor fight Amanda Serrano (adding that to the list of fights ripped from us by boxing politics) but McCaskill-Taylor or McCaskill-Persoon would both be very compelling matchups. McCaskill’s win also comes in the midst of a great period for women’s boxing. In just the past month, women have taken over the spotlight in the sport. Terri Harper-Natasha Jonas was one of the best fights of the year, Mikayla Mayer earned another impressive win in a main event and Braekhus and McCaskill engaged in another great fight on Saturday. It all leads to easily the best fight on paper, a rematch between Taylor and Persoon this weekend. Taylor beat Persoon by controversial majority decision to become the undisputed champion on the Joshua-Ruiz I card, and fans have been clamoring for a rematch ever since. The wait is finally over, and the winner will have a litany of major fights waiting in the near future. 2. Israil Madrimov is still really, really good Madrimov went the distance for the first time in his career, and while he earned a decision win, it wasn’t without speedbumps. He looked gassed in the middle rounds, and Eric Walker made him pay for it. Walker is a really solid fighter and wasn’t getting enough credit coming in, so his performance wasn’t particularly surprising. Anyone who watched The Contender is familiar with Walker and how tough he makes it on his opponents. Madrimov is clearly a work-in-progress. And that’s okay. He’s only had six pro fights, and Saturday’s bout with Walker was the first time he really had to overcome adversity in a fight. He puts everything he has into every one of his punches and doesn’t seem to care what’s coming back at him when he throws. Against an opponent with heavy hands, that could be a recipe for disaster. But he also hits really hard, which is what makes him so exciting and what makes him hard to pick against. Even in a tough fight, Madrimov should’ve had a knockout when he sent Walker to the ground in the 9th round and the referee ruled that his shoulder had caused Walker to hit the canvas. Walker didn’t look like he was in any shape to continue, but the referee gave him five minutes to recover and he was able to finish the rest of the fight. It’ll be interesting to see how Madrimov gets matched in his next fight. He’s coming off a win over the best opponent of his career and should theoretically be in line for a title shot. Does his team want to give him more time to develop, or are they ready for the big fights? That decision could have implications for the rest of his career. 3. David Benavidez Yes, David Benavidez. There’s a lot to unpack. On one hand, Benavidez’s talent is undeniable. He has elite power and is very advanced for his age, and there isn’t a lot inside the ring that’s given him any trouble. Outside the ring is a different story. Benavidez was stripped of his WBC super middleweight title in 2018 when he tested positive for cocaine. He won it back against Anthony Dirrell on the Spence-Porter undercard with an impressive performance that was probably his best as a pro. Then, scheduled to make his first defense against Roamer Alexis Angulo, he lost the title on the scales. He knocked out Angulo in a fight no one predicted would be competitive, title or no title. We learned nothing, except that Benavidez has trouble making 168 pounds. He’s big for the w

Three Takeaways: It’s an Incredible Stretch for Women’s Boxing

By: Jonah Dylan

The boxing world is finally back to some semblance of
normalcy. This weekend we had watered-down cards on multiple networks, horrible
judging and extremely questionable refereeing. Oh, and a nonsense belt from the
WBA. If that doesn’t represent the official return of boxing, I don’t know what
does.

Still, there’s a lot to get into. Let’s get to it.

1. Jessica McCaskill just casually flipped the boxing
world on its axis

McCaskill came into her fight with Braekhus as a clear
underdog. That’s not to belittle McCaskill, who was already a unifed champion
at super lightweight. It says more about Braekhus, who was considered one of
the top pound for pound fighters in the world and had made 25 defenses of her
welterweight title. She was undefeated and had been the undisputed champ for
years.

McCaskill fought like she knew what she was up against,
outworking Braekhus and taking the fight to her to earn a hard-fought majority
decision win in a DAZN main event. Braekhus hinted at retirement after the
fight, but a rematch could certainly be in order if she wants to fight on.

As for McCaskill, she’s set up for another shot at Katie
Taylor, assuming Taylor wins her rematch with Delfine Persoon this Saturday.
McCaskill lost to Taylor in 2017 but is more than deserving of another crack at
the undisputed lightweight champion. I’d still like to see Taylor fight Amanda
Serrano (adding that to the list of fights ripped from us by boxing politics)
but McCaskill-Taylor or McCaskill-Persoon would both be very compelling
matchups.

McCaskill’s win also comes in the midst of a great period
for women’s boxing. In just the past month, women have taken over the spotlight
in the sport. Terri Harper-Natasha Jonas was one of the best fights of the
year, Mikayla Mayer earned another impressive win in a main event and Braekhus
and McCaskill engaged in another great fight on Saturday. It all leads to
easily the best fight on paper, a rematch between Taylor and Persoon this
weekend.

Taylor beat Persoon by controversial majority decision to
become the undisputed champion on the Joshua-Ruiz I card, and fans have been
clamoring for a rematch ever since. The wait is finally over, and the winner
will have a litany of major fights waiting in the near future.

2. Israil Madrimov is still really, really good

Madrimov went the distance for the first time in his career,
and while he earned a decision win, it wasn’t without speedbumps. He looked
gassed in the middle rounds, and Eric Walker made him pay for it. Walker is a
really solid fighter and wasn’t getting enough credit coming in, so his
performance wasn’t particularly surprising. Anyone who watched The Contender is
familiar with Walker and how tough he makes it on his opponents.

Madrimov is clearly a work-in-progress. And that’s okay.
He’s only had six pro fights, and Saturday’s bout with Walker was the first
time he really had to overcome adversity in a fight. He puts everything he has
into every one of his punches and doesn’t seem to care what’s coming back at
him when he throws. Against an opponent with heavy hands, that could be a
recipe for disaster.

But he also hits really hard, which is what makes him so
exciting and what makes him hard to pick against. Even in a tough fight,
Madrimov should’ve had a knockout when he sent Walker to the ground in the 9th
round and the referee ruled that his shoulder had caused Walker to hit the
canvas. Walker didn’t look like he was in any shape to continue, but the
referee gave him five minutes to recover and he was able to finish the rest of
the fight.

It’ll be interesting to see how Madrimov gets matched in his
next fight. He’s coming off a win over the best opponent of his career and
should theoretically be in line for a title shot. Does his team want to give
him more time to develop, or are they ready for the big fights? That decision
could have implications for the rest of his career.

3. David Benavidez

Yes, David Benavidez. There’s a lot to unpack. On one hand, Benavidez’s
talent is undeniable. He has elite power and is very advanced for his age, and
there isn’t a lot inside the ring that’s given him any trouble. Outside the
ring is a different story.

Benavidez was stripped of his WBC super middleweight title
in 2018 when he tested positive for cocaine. He won it back against Anthony
Dirrell on the Spence-Porter undercard with an impressive performance that was
probably his best as a pro. Then, scheduled to make his first defense against
Roamer Alexis Angulo, he lost the title on the scales.

He knocked out Angulo in a fight no one predicted would be
competitive, title or no title. We learned nothing, except that Benavidez has
trouble making 168 pounds. He’s big for the weight class and a move to 175 is
no doubt in his future, but he’s continued to talk about fighting fellow
belt-holder Caleb Plant.

The reality is there’s nothing holding up a fight between
Plant and Benavidez other than the notion that it needs to “marinate.” Neither
of the fighters have been in competitive fights since they won their respective
titles, and there are no obvious other fights out there. If Benavidez is going
to stay at 168, he should fight Plant. If he’s not going to fight Plant, I’d
rather see him move up to light heavyweight. The weight class is wide open
underneath Artur Beterbiev, and Benavidez would be a welcome addition.

Follow me on Twitter @TheJonahDylan

The post Three Takeaways: It’s an Incredible Stretch for Women’s Boxing appeared first on BoxingInsider.com.

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Katie Taylor: “I Feel Like I Have a Bit Of Unfinished Business”

By: Hans Themistode Picking up the win has always been the main goal for undisputed lightweight champion Katie Taylor.  No matter if she scored a one punch knockout or cruised to a unanimous decision win--as long as she left the ring with her hand raised in victory then she was perfectly alright with that.  With that being said, Taylor knows that one of her wins is severely tainted.   “The first fight has kind of been hanging over my head for about a year,” explained Taylor as she reminisced about her first matchup with Delfine Persoon. “I feel like I have a bit of unfinished business. I have a chance to clear everything up on Saturday night.” Persoon, a former five year lightweight title holder, walked into Taylor’s home away from home in Madison Square Garden in New York City in mid 2019 and gave the overwhelming favorite the fight of her life.  The cheers of Taylor’s name that filled the arena throughout their matchup, quickly turned to chants of Persoon, Persoon, Persoon.  The Belgium native fed off her new fans and seemingly pulled off the upset. Yet, when Taylor was given the majority decision nod, Persoon could do nothing but walk away with her head down in defeat.  Since that loss, both fans and media members alike have been split down the middle on who actually won. It’s a fair reaction given how close their first encounter was. Nevertheless, Taylor doesn't expect any confusions the second time around.  “A lot of people had her winning the fight and a lot of people had me winning the fight. I was delighted that the fight went my way but I will look to win the fight a lot more convincingly. We knew that there was going to be a rematch eventually. We’re just happy that it’s happening now.” With the two set to settle the score this upcoming weekend at Eddie Hearn’s Fight Camp, Taylor won’t be suckered into another war.  Getting into a dog fight has never been the style of Taylor. The multiple division champion would much rather stay on the outside and out box her opponents. Yet, when she matched up with Persoon, Taylor was dragged into a firefight. It may have been entertaining for those in attendance and watching from home, but expect their rematch to be less fan friendly.  “I think I have to fight a bit smarter than I did before. I do love to fight but that’s probably my problem sometimes. Obviously that’s not the smartest option at times, but in this fight I'm going to have to be more disciplined.”  The post Katie Taylor: “I Feel Like I Have a Bit Of Unfinished Business” appeared first on BoxingInsider.com.

Katie Taylor: “I Feel Like I Have a Bit Of Unfinished Business”

By: Hans Themistode

Picking up the win has always been the main goal for undisputed lightweight champion Katie Taylor. 

No matter if she scored a one punch knockout or cruised to a unanimous decision win--as long as she left the ring with her hand raised in victory then she was perfectly alright with that. 

With that being said, Taylor knows that one of her wins is severely tainted.  

“The first fight has kind of been hanging over my head for about a year,” explained Taylor as she reminisced about her first matchup with Delfine Persoon. “I feel like I have a bit of unfinished business. I have a chance to clear everything up on Saturday night.”

Persoon, a former five year lightweight title holder, walked into Taylor’s home away from home in Madison Square Garden in New York City in mid 2019 and gave the overwhelming favorite the fight of her life. 

The cheers of Taylor’s name that filled the arena throughout their matchup, quickly turned to chants of Persoon, Persoon, Persoon. 

The Belgium native fed off her new fans and seemingly pulled off the upset. Yet, when Taylor was given the majority decision nod, Persoon could do nothing but walk away with her head down in defeat. 

Since that loss, both fans and media members alike have been split down the middle on who actually won. It’s a fair reaction given how close their first encounter was. Nevertheless, Taylor doesn't expect any confusions the second time around. 

“A lot of people had her winning the fight and a lot of people had me winning the fight. I was delighted that the fight went my way but I will look to win the fight a lot more convincingly. We knew that there was going to be a rematch eventually. We’re just happy that it’s happening now.”

With the two set to settle the score this upcoming weekend at Eddie Hearn’s Fight Camp, Taylor won’t be suckered into another war. 

Getting into a dog fight has never been the style of Taylor. The multiple division champion would much rather stay on the outside and out box her opponents. Yet, when she matched up with Persoon, Taylor was dragged into a firefight. It may have been entertaining for those in attendance and watching from home, but expect their rematch to be less fan friendly. 

“I think I have to fight a bit smarter than I did before. I do love to fight but that’s probably my problem sometimes. Obviously that’s not the smartest option at times, but in this fight I'm going to have to be more disciplined.” 

The post Katie Taylor: “I Feel Like I Have a Bit Of Unfinished Business” appeared first on BoxingInsider.com.

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