Jessica McCaskill stops Alma Ibarra in four, defends undisputed welterweight championship
SAN ANTONIO – Jessica McCaskill successfully defended her undisputed/Ring Magazine female welterweight championship by stopping Alma Ibarra moments into the fourth round.
McCaskill, who hails from Chicago, improves to 12-2 (4 knockouts).
Saturday marked McCaskill’s third defense of the undisputed championship she won from Cecilia Braekhus in August 2020. While McCaskill was the more-polished fighter of the two, she had to deal with Ibarra’s roundhouse tactics.
Moments into the opening round, a right hand to the chin staggered Ibarra, prompting her to hold onto McCaskill. After Ibarra was able to recuperate, McCaskill outboxed Ibarra, but consistently landed straight and overhand right hands to the head of Ibarra.
Ibarra was game, but held onto McCaskill several times during the fight. Ibarra would land a punch, but would then pull down on the back of the head of McCaskill. Referee Jose Guadalupe Garcia would warn Ibarra several times for the infractions, but did not deduct a point, despite calls from McCaskill’s corner to do so.
McCaskill had her best round in the third. McCaskill landed a series of overhand right hands that garnered a reaction from the crowd at the Tech Port Arena. Towards the end of the round, a punch to the chin staggered Ibarra. McCaskill tried to follow up, but the bell sounded to end the round.
Moments into the fourth round, Ibarra’s corner told referee Garcia she was not able to continue. Garcia waved the fight off at 10 seconds.
“I was expecting an action fight,” said McCaskill after the fight. “We’re two Mexicans that were going to put on a show. I had too much power for her.”
Ibarra, who resides in Monterrey, Mexico, drops to 10-2 (5 KOs).
In a clash of unbeaten featherweight prospects, Raymond Ford defeated Richard Medina, Jr. by decision over 10 one-sided rounds.
Scores were 100-90, 100-90, and 99-91 for Ford, who improves to 12-0-1 (6 KOs).
The win over Medina was a far cry from Ford’s controversial split-decision win over Edward Vazquez on February 5. In that fight, some boxing insiders and ringside media thought Vazquez did enough to win.
From the opening bell against Medina, the southpaw Ford was the more-effective fighter. Ford utilized a consistent jab and speed to outbox Medina.
As the fight wore on, Medina did not make the necessary adjustments to put him in a better position to hurt Ford. The few times he was able to back up Ford against the ropes, Medina did well by landing to the body and head. Instead, Medina allowed Ford to dictate the pace, which worked in Ford’s favor.
Medina, who resides in San Antonio, drops to 13-1 (7 KOs).
In middleweight action, Nikita Ababiy of Brooklyn, New York defeated Noe Bolanos, Jr. by unanimous decision. All three judges scored the bout 78-74 for Ababiy, who improves to 12-0 (6 KOs).
Ababiy landed the more-effective punches throughout the fight. Bolano was game and pressed the action at times, but would get countered, including at the end of the fourth round, when he was stunned by a right hand.
The pace slowed during the second half of the fight. Bolanos was breathing heavily through his mouth, but Ababiy did not commit to the body as he should have. Instead, he was content to outbox Bolanos from the distance up until the final bell.
Bolanos, who resides in Ramona, California, drops to 14-0 (6 KOs)
In the opening bout of the Matchroom Boxing card, bantamweight Jesus Martinez (2-0) overcame a knockdown at the end of the third round to defeat Keven Monroy of Spring Valley, California by majority decision.
One judge scored the bout 38-38, while the other two judges scored the bout 39-37 and 39-36 for Martinez, who resides in nearby Del Rio and is trained by Robert Garcia.
Monroy (1-3, 1 KO) has now lost his last three fights after winning his pro debut.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing