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Boxing/UFC

Cecilia Braekhus to defend title vs. Jessica McCaskill on April 17

Undisputed women’s welterweight world champion Cecilia Braekhus will defend her belts in a potentially history-making fight against unified junior welterweight titlist Jessica McCaskill on April 17, Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn announced on Friday.

The bout will be part of the DAZN card headlined by the fight between former junior welterweight titleholders at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland.

With a victory, Braekhus can break the record for most consecutive title defenses in boxing history, male or female, in any division.

“Cecilia is one of the greatest female fighters of all time and still the ‘First Lady’ has huge ambitions to achieve even more greatness in the sport,” Hearn said. “But what a breakthrough star Jessica has become since landing her world title. It’s been a fairytale rise and she wants to go on to achieve greatness like her foe in Maryland. Jessica always brings it on the night and victory over Cecilia would top everything she has done so far, and that’s saying something.”

In her most recent fight, Braekhus, who has held a world title since 2009 and has long been widely considered the No. 1 female boxer in the world, easily outpointed Victoria Bustos in November in Monte Carlo, Monaco. It was her 25th consecutive title defense, tying heavyweight legend Joe Louis’ record for the most consecutive title defenses in any division, male or female. Braekhus (36-0, 9 KOs), 38, of Norway, has also made 10 consecutive defenses of the undisputed title.

“I’m very excited to battle Jessica McCaskill on April 17,” Braekhus said. “She is a unified world champion and a formidable opponent for me. However, following my victory in November I only took a short time off from training and will be well prepared for this very tough challenge. Thanks very much to my team for their efforts in bringing me this opportunity and to my fans all over the world. I can’t wait to put on a great show for you in Maryland.”

McCaskill (8-2, 3 KOs), 35, of Chicago, outpointed Anahi Ester Sanchez in a slugfest to unify two 140-pound world titles last May, also at MGM National Harbor. McCaskill retained her belts by outpointing Erica Anabella Farias in a hometown fight in Chicago in October and now will move up in weight to challenge Braekhus at 147 pounds.

“This is a fight I wanted,” McCaskill said. “I want to fight the biggest names and the best fighters. Nothing less. My name is up there with the best in female history and I want to continue on that path. Every time I fight its exciting and not only for female boxing but for boxing — period.”

Sports report