Chicago-based lightweight Jessica 'CasKILLA' McCaskill may have been regarded as the underdog, but she made quite the impression on boxing fans last Wednesday when she faced WBA lightweight champion, Katie Taylor, before a huge audience on Sky Sports at the York Hall in London, England.
Although Taylor earned a 10-round unanimous decision win in her first title defense, McCaskill displayed heart and aggressively pursued Taylor until the very end of the fight. Taylor, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist and three-time amateur world champion, soon realized that she needed to change angles and outbox McCaskill from a distance to avoid being mauled. In the seventh round, the referee even deducted a point from Taylor for holding and hitting. Although McCaskill does not possess Taylor's boxing pedigree or experience level, she proved how dangerous she could be at close distances. McCaskill emerged with the most effective strategy, smothering Taylor and connecting with big left hooks and uppercuts inside. This was the best strategy for McCaskill as her imposing style and power are her biggest strengths.
Nonetheless, McCaskill made an excellent showing for herself regardless of the loss. Some accused Taylor for running from McCaskill, but she did what she had to do to win. In the end, Taylor's cleaner punches and footwork sufficed in the judge's eyes. McCaskill put on an exciting performance, went the distance, and even wobbled her more experienced opponent. Not bad for an underdog.