Alycia Baumgardner couldn’t help but sit back and watch, believing all this could be hers someday.
The reigning WBC/IBO junior lightweight titlist was among a who’s who of top women in boxing past and present on hand for undisputed lightweight champion Katie Taylor’s narrow win over pound-for-pound rival Amanda Serrano in their unforgettable April 30 superfight at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Baumgardner has become a fixture at Matchroom Boxing shows since signing with the promotional giant last fall, but made a point to attend the historic event at MSG—the first-ever female boxing headliner at the venue, won by Taylor (21-0, 6KOs) via split decision—to envision her own career potential.
“To be in this atmosphere says I belong here and that this is going to happen for me in the future,” Baumgardner told BoxingScene.com. “I’m able to see this event, sit back and watch, and see my career is going to unfold into something big like this.”
Baumgardner (12-1, 7KOs) was just two weeks removed from the first defense of her WBC junior lightweight title—a ten-round shutout of Edith Soledad Matthysse on April 16 in Manchester, England—at the time of her trip to NYC.
The fight was the second on a Matchroom show for the Detroit-based champ, her first coming in her title-winning fourth-round knockout of unbeaten Terri Harper last November 13 in Sheffield, England, with the feat recognized by BoxingScene.com as the 2021 Female Knockout of the Year. Baumgardner signed with Matchroom immediately thereafter, emerging as among the standout talents on the roster of a company with the sport’s deepest pool of top female boxers.
“The experience with Matchroom has been amazing,” admits Baumgardner, who has worked several DAZN telecasts during her brief time with her new promotional team thus far. “They treat me well. They’ve treated me right since I fought Terri Harper as if I was champion.
“So now as champion, they treat me as such. I’m grateful to be with a team like them and with Eddie Hearn who promotes women’s boxing at the highest level.”
As announced on Monday, Baumgardner reached an agreement for a high-stakes clash with bitter rival and unbeaten IBF/WBO champ Mikaela Mayer (17-0, 5KOs). The fight will take place in the late summer or early fall.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox