Full DAZN undercard results from Wintrust Arena, Chicago, Illinois
In her hometown, Jessica McCaskill became the new WBC female junior welterweight titleholder after beating Erica Farias by unanimous decision (98-92, 97-93, 96-94).
One of the better fights of the early undercard, McCaskill, 6-2 (3), had to make up for a slow start against an experienced Mexican champion, who was out-boxing her in the early rounds with compact shots and a composed attitude. Farias, 26-3 (10), was exploiting the aggressor but eventually started to bend in the middle rounds. McCaskill, 34, used lateral movement to help make her power hooks come from different angles and her uppercut started to back Farias up easily in the seventh. Farias never regained control of the fight as McCaskill proceeded to throw more and land more shots during many heated exchanges. Though the scores didn’t exactly reflect how close the fight seemed, both women let it all out in a much-needed final round to cap off a very good action fight.
Light heavyweight prospect Anthony Sims Jr. shined in his sixth round knockout of Mario Aguilar to remain undefeated.
In a fight scheduled for eight, Sims, 16-0 (15), was taken past the fourth round for the first time in his young career but things could’ve easily ended in the first. Sims, 23, started off hot with his left jab and hook, which had Aguilar going backward with a bloody nose. While tying Sims up with the opening round winding down, Aguilar, 19-6 (16), dropped to his knees after a gut-checking left hook to the body. However referee Celestino Ruiz ruled it a low blow and gave the Mexican time to recover. Upon replay, it was clear body shot to the ribcage. Equally strange was the cameraman entering the ring to focus on Sims, who was in a neutral corner at the time. Seemingly he was under the impression that the fight was stopped.
Sims went on to showcase himself despite already celebrating what he also thought was a first round knockout. On his toes and using his feet to move in and out of range, Sims continued to pop Aguilar’s head around with quick left hooks and follow-up rights to the body. Aguilar, 28, was discombobulated in some moments, but did manage to time some power shots and give the prospect something to worry about. With a constant jab, feinting head and bending torso, Sims stayed patient as Aguilar tired through round four, often times given opportunities to unleash combos around a shell. In the sixth, that sequence led to Aguilar going to a knee after a varied combo in the fight’s only official knockdown. Ruiz counted him out.
“No, my mother is the toughest fight of my career: Still undefeated,” Sims first replied when asked if this was the toughest fight of his career. “But yes, hardest fight thus far, absolutely.”
Reshat “The Albanian Bear” Mati took out Adan Ahumada in the third round with a body shot, capping off an impressive professional debut. The junior middleweight contest was scheduled for four.
Mati, 1-0 (1), an American son to Albanian parents in Staten Island, New York, peppered his Mexican opponent with varied hooks with both hands early in the fight. A left hook rocked Ahumada backward by round’s end but with Mati already comfortable enough to fight with his hands down in the second, the 29-year-old heaved an overhand right that caught the prospect. Mati took the shot well, stayed composed and proceeded to pay it back with more lead left hands, even showboating in the corner as the clock wound down. In the third, Mati pressed the gas pedal down on his foe and found an A-plus left hook to the liver that sent Ahumada to his knees. Referee Tommy Gonzalez counted him out but even with a highlight reel win, Mati thought he could’ve done better.
“I still have a lot to improve,” Mati said when asked to grade his performance. “I’d say maybe like a C or a D.”
Nikita “White Chocolate” Ababiy had a stellar pro debut after knocking out Jake Henriksen with a vicious body shot in the first round. The middleweight contest was scheduled for four.
Fighting out of Brooklyn, New York, by way of Richmond, Virginia, Ababiy, 1-0 (1), needed just 28 seconds to dispose of his first opponent. Starting the fight aggressively, the 19-year-old landed a right hand to Henriksen’s head before landing a big left hook to the gut on the inside. Henriksen, 2-3 (1), crumbled to the canvas in pain while he was counted out and remained there for several seconds as Ababiy celebrated his first win with a dance.
In the opening bout of the Matchroom Boxing card, Matt Cameron, flanked by promoter Bobby Hitz and trainer Peter George, ruined the pro debut of Nkosi Solomon, dropping the heavyweight amateur standout twice and winning a wide unanimous decision (39-33 on all three official scorecards) after four rounds.
Solomon, 0-1, a lengthy heavyweight prospect fighting out of Brooklyn, landed early and often against a fearless opponent who was fighting in his hometown but, in the second round, Cameron’s left hooks were starting to catch up to the 23-year-old. Cameron, 3-1-1 (1), lacked an ideal boxing technique but made up for it with spirit – sensing that Solomon was suffocating from the pressure – and it scored him a knockdown in the third round to start a panic for the prospect. Solomon started to use desperate tactics in order to get breathing room for the remainder of the fight. He was docked two points by the referee in the final round for holding and, to make matters worse, was dropped again by Cameron to widen the upset.
“My dad died a year ago. I wish he was here. I fight for him now,” Cameron said in front of his hometown. “This means a lot. He’d be really proud of me – that’s all I wanted – my dad to be proud of me. Took me awhile. I fucked around for a long time. I’m 34 but I’m here. All the chips are on the table for this. There’s no backup plan – this is it.”