The ‘First Mate’ is honored to help provide a platform for ‘The Captain’ to make her awaited pro debut.

Best friends Mikaela Mayer and Ginny Fuchs are reunited in the pro ranks, appearing on the same show Saturday evening at The OC Hangar in Costa Mesa, California. Mayer (16-0, 5KOs) makes her third overall WBO junior lightweight title defense and first as the unified IBF/WBO champ, headlining an ESPN show that sees Fuchs fight for the first time since her stint on the 2020 U.S. Olympic team who competed last summer in Tokyo.

“I’m glad she gets to make a statement in the pros,” Mayer told “She made the decision to stay in the amateurs to go to the Olympics since she didn’t go to Rio (in 2016). It was hard for her to make that decision since women’s boxing was picking up but not quite where it is today.

“So, she decided to move on with her dream. She conquered that and is now entering the pros in another exciting weight class. I think she’ll be a contender immediately and will do well.”

Fuchs—known as ‘The Capiain’ for both her previous amateur status and her affinity for pirate culture—faces Albuquerque’s Randee Lynn Morales (4-3, 2KOs) in a scheduled six-round flyweight bout on the ESPN+ preliminary undercard preceding Mayer’s title defense versus Jennifer Han (18-4-1, 1KO) in their ESPN-televised main event. It marks the third overall main event for Mayer and second straight, coming on the heels of her ten-round unanimous decision win over Maiva Hamadouche in their incredible unification bout last November in Las Vegas.

Mayer has exceeded expectations to the point of career-long promoter Top Rank signing her to a new contract ahead of her latest fight. With that power has come the ability to bring along her friends for the ride, which works to the benefit of fighters such as Fuchs.

“I definitely feel a shift in my career,” notes Mayer, who even sported a 'First Mate' shirt during fight week to commemorate Fuchs' pro debut. “I feel like all eyes are on me now and I’m getting more respect. I knew getting through Hamadouche in a performance like that would do it. Ginny is my best friend and I’m glad we get to share the same card. We have a blast together.

“Anyone who’s followed me on social media the past ten years will see, we came up in the amateurs together. We have stories for days. Now we get to create more memories together in the pros.”

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox