Jessica McCaskill stops game-but-outgunned Kandi Wyatt in seven, retains undisputed 147-lb. championship
After a long training camp ended with her original opponent unable to secure a travel visa, Jessica McCaskill refused to fight down to the level of her opposition.
McCaskill overwhelmed Calgary’s Kandi Wyatt, brutalizing her late replacement opponent in a seventh-round TKO to defend her undisputed welterweight crown for the second time. The victory also marked her first defense of The Ring Magazine 147-pound world championship.
Wyatt, who had lost her two prior bouts and accepted an offer to face McCaskill on barely one week’s notice, was dominated from the onset before referee Celestino Ruiz halted the fight with 19 seconds remaining on the ticket in round seven of their DAZN-streamed bout Saturday evening at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
The bout took place on the undercard of the 12-round main event featuring unbeaten Devin Haney defending his WBC welterweight title for the fourth time against ex-130-pound titleholder Jo Jo Diaz.
Chicago’s McCaskill (11-2, 4 KOs), who picked up her sixth consecutive win following a unanimous decision defeat to current undisputed and Ring Magazine lightweight world champion Katie Taylor in December 2017, was initially tabbed to face former 135-pound titlist Victoria Bustos.
The 37-year-old McCaskill, a former junior welterweight champion, crushed Wyatt from the get-go with a series of heavy right hands that snapped her head back.
In round three, it was more of the same as McCaskill rocked her again with an overhand right and a left hook.
According to Compubox, McCaskill landed 198 of 468 punches (42 percent), and Wyatt connected with 70 of 252 blows (28 percent).
“I said [to Wyatt], ‘You’re tough as balls.’ She kept coming with good punches, too. It wasn’t like a ‘just charge you’ kind of a thing. She was throwing punches, just like I said she would,” she stated after the fight.
McCaskill kicked off round five with a plethora of body shots. Wyatt managed to withstand the attack but offered nothing back on offense. The onslaught continued in round six as McCaskill mangled Wyatt with a crisp right uppercut.
A series of one-two combinations in the seventh frame resulted in Ruiz stepping in to stop the fight and to protect Wyatt (10-4, 3 KOs) for her own good.
“I feel comfortable at any weight,” McCaskill said. “We’ve talked about [moving down to] 135; we’ve talked about possibly moving up to 154; it’s all in the training; it’s all in the nutrients, and the strength and conditioning.”
In other undercard particulars, heavyweight Filip Hrgovic (14-0, 12 KOs) remained unbeaten with a three-round beatdown of Emir Ahmatovic (10-1, 7 KOs). Marc “Tesla” Castro (5-0, 5 KOs) destroyed a game, but overmatched Ronaldo Solis (4-3-1, 3 KOs), flooring his opponent twice before scoring a second-round TKO.