Jessica McCaskill will take the rare step of dropping down in weight to enhance her pound-for-pound credentials.
BoxingScene.com has learned that a deal is reached for McCaskill—the reigning undisputed welterweight champion—to face reigning WBC/IBF junior welterweight titlist Chantelle Cameron. The bout will take place with Cameron’s titles at stake as part of an already announced November 5 DAZN show from Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
The fight—which was first reported by No Smoke Boxing—is expected to be announced this week, either during or in the wake of a press conference on site for the Dmitry Bivol-Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez WBA light heavyweight title fight.
McCaskill (12-2, 5KOs) will return to the junior welterweight division for the first time since the pandemic, having previously held the WBA/WBC titles at the weight.
The ageless two-division champ—who will turn a well-preserved 38 in September—claimed the WBC 140-pound title in an October 2018 ten-round win over Erica Farias on the first-ever DAZN-USA show which aired live from her Chicago hometown. The feat came ten months after a hard-fought loss to Katie Taylor (21-0, 6KOs) in December 2017, having since won seven straight—all in title fights including five victories over former or current champs.
McCaskill added the WBA strap one fight later, outpointing Anahi Sanchez in May 2019 before defending both belts in a repeat win over Farias later that October once again in Chicago. She became a two-division champ after dethroning long-reigning unbeaten welterweight and pound-for-pound queen Cecilia Braekhus via majority decision in August 2020, earning a more decisive victory in their rematch last March in Dallas.
Three overall title defenses have come of McCaskill’s undisputed welterweight championship reign, including a third-round knockout of Alma Ibarra on June 25 in San Antonio. The fight figured to be McCaskill’s last at welterweight, at least for the time being.
A showdown with Cameron (16-0, 8KOs) has been on McCaskill’s radar for some time, primarily due to her belief that the Brit was the one high profile opponent she could land.
Cameron has emerged as a pound-for-pound entrant in her own right, along with establishing herself as the class of the 140-pound division. The 31-year-old from Northampton, England has barely lost a round through sixteen pro fights, her last four coming with at least one major title at stake beginning with a ten-round shutout of unbeaten Adriana dos Santos Araujo in their October 2020 WBC title fight.
Three defenses have followed for Cameron, including a ten-round decision over Mary McGee in their entertaining WBC/IBF junior welterweight title unification last October at The O2. The bout was part of a four-women tournament to eventually crown an undisputed queen. Kali Reis claimed a narrow win over Jessica Camara last November to emerge as the unified WBA/WBO titlist.
Cameron was ringside for Reis’ title unification win, with hopes of their undisputed fight coming next. The matchup was since backburnered and possibly canceled outright. Reis—a Providence, Rhode Island who now lives in Philadelphia—has focused on other aspects of her life, along with developing her acting career including starring roles in the feature film ‘Catch The Fair One’ and HBO’s hit series ‘True Detective.’
Meanwhile, Cameron has proceeded with her career while scoping out a new challenge. She is coming off a ten-round shutout win over Victoria Bustos on May 21 at The O2, soon after setting her sights on a pound-for-pound showdown with McCaskill.
The two have exchanged words through social media while hashing out terms for such a fight. Cameron hoped at one point to have her belts along with McCaskill’s undisputed welterweight championship on the line for such a fight, despite McCaskill already agreeing to drop back all the way down to junior welterweight.
For now, Cameron’s WBC/IBF belts will be the lone hardware at stake, though the winner will gain the satisfaction of garnering consideration for at least top five among the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world today.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox