Is Jessica McCaskill Overlooking Alma Ibarra?
On June 25, Jessica “CasKILLA” McCaskill (11-2, 4 KOs) makes the second defense of the undisputed welterweight titles against WBA mandatory challenger Alma Ibarra (10-1, 5 KOs) at the Tech Port Arena in San Antonio, Texas.
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE
Previously a unified champion at 140 pounds, McCaskill is decorated and accomplished, viewing herself as one of the ladies carrying the mantle for women’s boxing. The Chicago, Illinois native is in constant pursuit to challenge herself. During an exclusive interview with DAZN, she gave the reasoning for her driving force and never being satisfied.
“I want to do things that people haven’t done before […] Just something that someone has not done before because the whole point of being punched in the face on a regular basis is to set the standard high, break barriers and create history. I want to think out of this world, so that’s kind of the plan.”
ALREADY EYEING WHAT’S POSSIBLY DOWN THE LINE
McCaskill wants to fight the best fighters in and around her division. Her match coming up with the 37-year-old Ibarra is soon to come. However, she openly talking about who she would like to fight next.
“Realistically, after this fight, we’re talking about going up to 140 for (unified champion) Chantelle Cameron. So, there could be something there. I don’t think she’ll get undisputed before we get to her, so I don’t know how realistic that is, right now. But that’s the whole point […] make it bigger and bigger until you’re able to make it happen.”
Cameron (16-0, 8 KOs) is coming off a dominant ten-round win over two-time lightweight champion Victoria Bustos in May 2021. Matchroom Boxing happens to promote both McCaskill and Cameron. “CasKILLA” said her team has had conversations regarding a showdown with the current unified 140 pound champ.
GIVING IBARRA FULL RESPECT?
But those aspirations go down the tube if the welterweight champion doesn’t take care of business against Ibarra. Some may wonder if McCaskill is fully concentrated on the defense. She has made comments that seem to define Ibarra as little more than a mere stepping stone.
“Now, we’re in a situation where we had to take a fight that we’re not exactly looking to take, but we’re obviously wanting to stay busy. You kind of have to do what you want to do […] She fights forward, Mexican style so both of us being come-forward fighters – I know there’s going to be a lot of action.”
Ibarra has wanted to get her fists on McCaskill since defeating Kandi Wyatt to become the WBA mandatory challenger in August 2021. On paper, Ibarra has size and style that could give the champ fits. Plus there’s this added incentive. Following her win over Wyatt, the 34-year-old from Monterrey, Mexico, voiced displeasure over what she said were ugly comments made towards her by the champ’s manager, Rick Ramos. She has vowed to make McCaskill pay for Ramos’s unkind remarks.
All of this adds a little extra spice to what has the ingredients of being an excellent fight. Is the champ fully invested and just has things in proper perspective, or could her ambition prove costly against a determined and dangerous challenger? We will all find out on fight night in San Antonio.
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By: Michael Wilson Jr.