OXON HILL, MARYLAND (May 25, 2019) – The bell rang at MGM National Harbor and Super Lightweight champions Super Lightweight Jessica champions McCaskill and Anahi Sanchez went to work.
After the first bell Chicago native McCaskill (7-2, 3 KOs), the WBC title holder, marched forward immediately, applying her signature brand of pressure while WBA champion Sanchez (19-4, 11 KOs) looked to settle in and assess the situation.
McCaskill charged forward to apply her unrelenting pressure through the first three rounds, mixing in a barrage of shots followed by quick dives to try to avoid a response from Sanchez. Sanchez threw shots with packed with power too, but in more controlled outbursts, often catching McCaskill with some well-placed counter punches.
McCaskill’s upper body rolls sometimes avoided Sanchez’s first punch, but often exposed the back of her head to the back-end of Sanchez’s combinations. Both women landed their fair share of power punches, and as McCaskill firmly established her self inside her high work-rate, she gradually began to build a lead in the scoring.
Referee Bill Clancy intervened in the phone booth fight as necessary, but he halted the action to warn Sanchez about holding at the end of the first minute of the fifth round. Afterwards, the Argentine southpaw began to find herself some room by circling widely around the ring while setting up combinations with her footwork and change of direction. McCaskill followed Sanchez, with her back bouncing along the ropes, until she ran into a sharp left-right hook combination.
McCaskill worked from the outside herself earlier in the seventh, leaving more room to attack while taking some short steps back to avoid the hit-for-hit pace of the fight.
In a fight with such contrasting styles paired with continuous action, McCaskill often offset a big Sanchez shot with a flurry of shots, however she closed the round with a looping right hook to convincingly score the best punch over that 2:00.
As the fight moved into the final two rounds McCaskill’s energy level swelled again as she opened the ninth forcing Sanchez to the ropes immediately to get off a flurry. Sanchez worked hard to move the action back to the center of the ring where she could fight and attempt to rest and reset when possible.
Into the 10th McCaskill’s pressure appeared to push Sanchez to the brink early according to the body language of both women. The physicality of the action had taken its toll on Sanchez’s fire. By the final rounds closing seconds McCaskill looked like the fresher, more comfortable fighter while Sanchez looked completely frustrated by the oft rough house nature of the fight.
The three judges surprisingly scored the fight a wide unanimous decision with cards of 99-91 98-92 96-94, indicating that they favored McCaskill’s carpet-bombing attacks in contrast to Sanchez’s measured combinations and counter-punching. McCaskill expressed her uncertainty with the margin of victory after the fight, and told DAZN commentator that she would speak with Eddie Hearn and her team before addressing whether a rematch was forthcoming, while acknowledging the bout was hard-fought.
In the opening bout Baltimore Super Middleweight Lorenzo “Truck” Simpson blew out Arizon’s Rafael Garcia in the first round. Simpson exploded with an unanswered combination of left uppercuts and right hooks set up by some straight left hands to Garcia’s body. Referee Harvey Dock stepped in to stop the fight and grab Garcia as he stumbled back several feet where he was caught by the ropes.