Former cruiserweight unified champion Oleksandr Usyk makes his heavyweight debut against Chazz Witherspoon on Saturday in the main event of Saturday’s DAZN card at Wintrust Arena in Chicago. But before that, two title fights will take place on the undercard
In the co-main event, light heavyweight world titlist Dmitry Bivol takes on Lenin Castillo in a 12-round battle.
Stay here for live undercard results and analysis.
Otha Jones III def. Eric Manriquez by majority decision
Fight recap coming up …
McCaskill retains unified title
In a sloppy fight filled with holding, unified women’s junior welterweight world titlist Jessica McCaskill retained her belts by majority decision in a rematch with Erica Farias. McCaskill won by scores of 97-91 and 96-92, with one judge scoring the bout 94-94.
A year ago, McCaskill (8-2, 3 KOs), 35, of Chicago, outpointed Farias (26-4 10 KOs), 35, of Argentina, by scores of 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94 to take Farias’ 140-pound world title. McCaskill then unified two belts with a decision victory against Anahi Esther Sanchez in a slugfest on May 25 before giving Farias a rematch. Farias was boxing for the first time since the first fight with McCaskill.
As McCaskill landed punches, Farias resorted to nonstop holding. Finally, referee Christian Curiel docked her one point for excessive holding in the fourth round. Even after he took the point, Farias continued to hold as McCaskill roughed her up with punches on the inside.
In the sixth round, Curiel docked one point from McCaskill for landing a punch behind the head as Farias, whose right eye was marked up, was holding on to her.
Farais’ holding was extreme and blatant, but Curiel did not dock another point even though she was grabbing McCaskill’s arm as Curiel tried to pry them apart time and again.
“Felt like a WWE wrestling match but I just wanted to come out here and brawl,” McCaskill said. “I wanted to put on a good show for the fans and I don’t feel like they got a lot of that. I apologize but I am glad we got the win. The first fight was a lot of brawling, banging, boxing and movement. I thought that was what I was going to get tonight but I just realized that she was tired. She gassed a lot and complained a lot. She held me when my arms were in. She was tired and couldn’t really put on a performance tonight. I wish I could’ve given the crowd a lot more.”
According to CompuBox, McCaskill landed 151 of 435 punches (35 percent) and Farias connected with 127 of 393 blows (32 percent).
Biyarslanov has tough time vs. Jones
Junior welterweight Arthur “The Chechen Wolf” Biyarslanov won a unanimous decision by scores of 59-55, 59-55 and 58-56, but he had a tough time getting the job done against journeyman Tyrome Jones.
Biyarslanov (5-0, 4 KOs), 24, a southpaw who fled Chechnya with his family at age 10 and settled in Toronto, where he took up boxing and represented Canada in the 2016 Olympics, looked uncomfortable throughout the bout. He ended the bout looking weary, bleeding from cuts over his right eye and on the bridge of his nose.
Jones (4-6-1, 1 KO), 31, a southpaw from South Bend, Indiana, attacked Biyarslanov with combinations and roughed him up. But Biyarslanov managed to land enough punches to sway the judges in a fight that was far more difficult than the scores made it look.
Sims dominates Fitch
Super middleweight prospect Anthony Sims Jr., a former amateur standout, stayed sharp in his fifth fight in 13 months by dominating Morgan Fitch en route to a sixth-round knockout victory.
Sims (20-0, 18 KOs), 24, of Plainfield, Indiana, nearly ended the fight in the first round when he dropped Fitch twice and had him in big trouble. Sims first landed a clean right hand to send Fitch to one knee and then dropped him again moments later from an onslaught of punches. But Fitch, who participated in last year’s fifth season of “The Contender” reality series, survived and made it to the bell.
Fitch (19-4-1, 8 KOs), 36, of Pittsburgh, showed heart to keep fighting and made it into the sixth round, but he was being steadily broken down. Sims scored another knockdown in the sixth round with a clean right hand. During the follow-up attack, Sims forced Fitch to the ropes and was teeing off on him when referee David Smith finally intervened and waved off the fight at 2 minutes, 18 seconds.
After the fight Sims said he wanted to step up in competition and called out a former secondary world titlist.
“Rocky Fielding, if you’re watching this, I want you next — in the U.K.,” Sims said.
Conwell defeats Day
Junior middleweight prospect Charles Conwell, a 2016 U.S. Olympian from Cleveland, stepped up to face his best opponent so far and dominated Patrick Day en route to a 10th-round knockout victory.
The 21-year-old Conwell (11-0, 8 KOs) scored three knockdowns and handed Day (17-4-1, 6 KOs) his second consecutive loss. This one, however, came in a much more painful fashion than his 10-round decision loss to emerging contender Carlos Adames in June.
Conwell, who suffered a cut over his right eye in the fourth round, dropped Day later in the round with a straight right hand to the tip of his chin.
Conwell beat Day, 27, of Freeport, New York, to the punch repeatedly, landing many hard combinations. Day was dropped again late in the eighth round when Conwell landed a clean right hand to the face.
In the 10th round, Conwell finished Day off when he landed two right hands to drive him back, followed by a left hook that knocked him out cold flat on his back. Referee Celestino Ruiz waved off the fight at 1 minute, 46 seconds. Conwell was taken out of the ring on a stretcher and to the hospital for further evaluation.