Jessica McCaskill believes she has become a game-changer for women’s boxing as she prepares to defend her WBC and WBA World Super-Lightweight titles in a rematch with Erica Farias at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago on Saturday night, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.
McCaskill (7-2 3 KOS) won the WBC crown in the same venue one year ago, defeating Farias on points over the ten round distance, and landing the World title in her second attempt having given Katie Taylor the toughest night’s work in her pro career to date in December 2017 in London for Taylor’s WBA Lightweight strap.
‘CasKILLA’ unified the 140lbs division in her next outing, seeing off another Argentine in Anahi Sanchez in Maryland in May, and while McCaskill knows that Farias (26-3 10 KOs) will be gunning for revenge, the 35 year old Chicagoan and her trainer Rick Ramos have grand plans for her next steps and will not allow her old foe to stand in the way.
“I feel right now I am the game-changer,” said McCaskill. “There are people that have been in the game that I am dethroning, I'm on a fast-track; I've won two World titles and fought for three in just nine fights, I feel like I am the wildcard and people are watching to see what is going to happen next.
“It's a powerful stance to have in female boxing because I've always thought of it as a very scientific algorithm to men's boxing, you cannot do the same as the men as it's not the same career. Rick has always put me in position to make powerplays over and over again for different situations. I feel that people are learning from how we are moving through things and following our example.
“Rick has always been very transparent with me. He told me from the start that this would be a very fast-paced career, we had a handful of amateur fights together and then he said: ‘it's time to turn pro'. There has been a very distinct difference between my first fight with Rick and my last couple of fights with him. I was knocking people out in 30 seconds and fighting at different weights, which didn't matter as everything that he had instilled into my boxing was there. Being able to make that transition from amateur to pro with the same person is unheard of and to be as successful as we've been shows we're doing the right thing.
“In the beginning people didn’t see me as a competitive player in the sport, so we had to do a lot of different things to get in the door. You have to be a ticket-seller to show that you bring in money, so we would buy a lot of tickets ourselves for my fight. In my third fight we needed to make some noise, so Rick put in a couple of thousand dollars of his son's tuition money in and I put some money in, and everything stemmed off of that. I KO'd the girl and got a promotional deal and then the Taylor fight came along.
“We're proud of the goals we've hit and we have more goals to meet and so does everyone in the gym, and we want to spread that to kids in schools, get them to continue to fight no matter what is going on.”
McCaskill’s rematch with Farias is part of a huge night of action in Chicago, topped by Oleksandr Usyk’s Heavyweight debut against Chazz Witherspoon.
Dmitry Bivol defends his WBA Super World Light-Heavyweight title against Lenin Castillo, unbeaten Super-Middleweight talent Anthony Sims Jr returns to action against Morgan Fitch, Charles Conwell defends his USBA Super-Welterweight title against Patrick Day, an all-Chicago Super-Featherweight clash between Josh Hernandez and Giovanni Mioletti, former World title challenger TJ Doheny returns to the ring, Reshat Mati is back after recovering from a shoulder injury and a fourth pro outing for rising starlet Otha Jones III.
Tickets are on sale now for Usyk vs. Witherspoon starting at just $40 plus booking fees at: https://www.ticketmaster.com/event/070057139FF02C5D.