DAZN make a return to action in the USA this Saturday evening, as Tulsa, Oklahoma hosts a night of world championship boxing.
WBC Flyweight champion, Julio Cesar Martinez was due to be on the card, but pulled out of his title defence against McWilliams Arroyo due to illness.
Topping this bill will be a pound for pound female great, defending the Undisputed Welterweight title against a hungry challenger.
Norwegian based Columbian, CeciliaBraekhus (36-0, KO9) has been an Undisputed champion for over some six years now, and first ascended to the throne way back in March 2009.
‘The First Lady’ is one of only seven fighters, male or female, who can legitimately call themselves an undisputed titleholder, this meaning holding the WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO belts simultaneously.
Braekhus was raised in Norway from the age of two, and started kickboxing at 14. From there, she won 75 of 80 amateur boxing contests and turned professional in January 2007.
It would take just over two years for Braekhus to become World champion, as she defeated Vinni Skovgaard in Germany on the cards to capture the vacant WBC and WBA Welterweight crowns.
Cecilia added the WBO version in May 2010, winning the vacant title with a shutout win against Victoria Cisneros in Denmark.
Unfortunately for Braekhus though, is that she ruled when female boxing was still relatively taboo, and now, at 38, time isn’t on her side to truly cement her legacy.
Her calibre of opponent throughout her championship reign hasn’t been overly challenging, although she holds stoppage wins over Mia St John and Anne Sophie Mathis.
Braekhus finally captured all four belts in September 2014, when she relieved Ivana Habazin of the IBF strap by winning every round of their contest in Copenhagen.
Cecilia has since made ten successful defences of all four titles, adding the IBO bauble for good measure in February 2016 with a wide points win against Chris Namus in Germany.
Her only real scare came on her US debut in May 2018, when the little regarded Kali Reis floored Braekhus for the first time as a pro in the seventh. The champion regained composure to take a points win.
Braekhus rounded off 2018 by being awarded The Ring Magazine pound-for-pound belt for being their number one boxer, following a dominant win on the scorecards against Aleksandra Magdziak Lopes in California.
Braekhus last saw action in November 2019, with yet another routine points win against Victoria Noelia Bustos in Monte Carlo.
Braekhus has been working with renowned trainer Abel Sanchez in the Big Bear Mountains, and she aims to surpass the legendary Joe Louis’ 25 successful title defences with victory over Chicago’s tough Jessica McCaskill (8-2, KO3).
The Chicagoan first came to prominence in December 2017, when she gave Katie Taylor a decent run for her money at York Hall, Bethnal Green, losing a points decision in a bid for the WBA Lightweight title.
McCaskill is unbeaten in three since, and has also unified belts at Super-Lightweight.
She won the WBC title in October 2018 with a points win over Erica Annabella Farias, and added the WBA crown seven months later with a hard fought win on the cards against Anahi Ester Sanchez.
Her last outing saw a rematch with Farias, and this time McCaskill took a majority decision win back in October 2019.
Prediction: ‘CasKILLA’ McCaskill has been a revelation in her last four fights, but this is a whole different step up entirely against the gifted and established champion in Braekhus.
McCaskill needs to put heavy pressure on the champion early on, but it’s likely she will be unable to sustain this, and I expect Braekhus to take over down the stretch for a clear points win.
The WBA International Super-Lightweight title is on the line, as the gifted New York based Uzbek, Shakhram Giyasov (9-0, KO7) defends over ten rounds against Wiston Campos (31-7-6, KO19).
Giyasov was a gifted amateur, and his last appearance saw him wipe out former WBA Lightweight champion, Darleys Perez, in just 41 seconds.
Campos lost an unanimous decision to ‘Pretty Boy’ Josh Kelly in December of last year.
Another Uzbek starlet is Israil Madrimov (5-0, KO5), and he takes on the much more experienced Eric Walker (20-2, KO9) over twelve rounds at Super-Welterweight.
Raymond Ford (5-0, KO2) is certainly one to watch, and the New Jersey native takes part in a Featherweight attraction against Eric Manriquez (7-10-1, KO3).
Rounding off the card, Nikita Abably (8-0, KO6) and Jarvis Williams (8-2-1, KO5) meet at Middleweight, and Marc Castro makes his debut in a Featherweight assignment against Raul Corona (2-3, KO0).