Ten days ago, Ewa Brodnicka was armed with a new promotional deal that was to kick off with a straight away title unification bout.
It now remains to be seen who will gain the rights to her next title defense.
BoxingScene.com has learned that a purse bid hearing has been ordered by the World Boxing Organization (WBO) for Brodnicka’s mandatory title defense versus unbeaten American challenger Mikaela Mayer. The session will take place Thursday, August 20 to be held virtually via Zoom conference call in lieu of traveling to WBO headquarters in San Juan, Puerto Rico given travel restrictions and health concerns due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The order follows a 10-day negotiation period between camps which sparked productive conversation but not to the point of satisfying the sanctioning body.
News of the called-for mandatory title fight came shortly after the official announcement from Matchroom Boxing having signed Poland’s Brodnicka (19-0, 2KOs) to a promotional contract earlier this month. The motivation for such a signing was to position the unbeaten three-year titlist for a unification clash with Matchroom’s Terri Harper (11-0, 5KOs), providing the Brit pushed past countryman Natasha Jonas (9-2, 7KOs).
The latter barely happened, with Harper fighting Jonas to a 10-round draw in one of the best fights of 2020. There stands the chance of the two running it back, which in turn makes any previous talks of a unification clash with Brodnicka a moot point.
Not that it was really an option once the WBO intervened.
Mayer is represented by Top Rank and Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum, who has never been shy in taking his shots at Eddie Hearn, managing director of Matchroom Boxing. The timely announcement from the WBO drew remarks from within the industry—ranging from criticism of Arum’s ongoing cozy relationship with the WBO to the cleverness of utilizing such leverage.
Nevertheless, it will now result in the first career title fight for Mayer (13-0, 5KOs), a member of the 2016 United States Olympic boxing team which competed in Rio. The 30-year old Los Angeles native—who now lives in Colorado Springs—has been prominently featured on ESPN platforms for the duration of her pro career which began in 2017.
Mayer is coming off of a lopsided 10-round win over serviceable ring veteran Helen Joseph this past July. The bout marked the first time that a female bout headlined a live boxing telecast on ESPN’s flagship network. It also came amidst a developing social media rivalry between Mayer and Harper, with the latter insisting that the unbeaten American bring a title to the table the next time she decided to holler at her.
The demand is now win away from being satisfied, though far from guaranteed to happen.
Brodnicka (19-0, 2KOs) has made five successful defenses of the WBO junior lightweight title she claimed in 2017 following a 10-round shutout win over Irma Balijagic Adler. Her title reign along with the duration of her seven-pro career has taken place in Poland.
That aspect will undoubtedly change for her Brodnicka’s next title fight, whether landing in the United Kingdom or the United States. Friday’s purse bid hearing will determine that much, even if not for the fight she previously expected.
Even with the purse bid looming, there remains time to still reach a deal to avoid such a session.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox