Mikaela Mayer will be fine with a win over Alycia Baumgardner as final confirmation of ruling the 130-pound division.
The highly anticipated Mayer-Baumgardner showdown will officially come one belt short of undisputed championship status. The lone holdout is the WBA, which is currently in possession of Hyun Mi Choi. Both fighters have attempted to secure a fight with the unbeaten, two-division titlist, though most experts regard their head-on collision as the division’s true championship.
“I definitely think that I’ve cleared out 130. After this fight, I will have beaten all of the best at 130 who actually want to fight,” Mayer told BoxingScene.com. “I consider this the undisputed fight. I feel like the fans see it that way as well.
“With all the hype in this fight, it definitely feels like the undisputed fight. It isn’t only because neither of us can get a fight with Choi. I don’t know why. The WBA definitely needs to step in. But I’ve worked so hard to get to this point.”
Mayer-Baumgarder is presently scheduled to take place this Saturday, live on Sky Sports and ESPN+ from The O2 in London. The entire show—including the Claressa Shields-Savannah Marshall undisputed middleweight championship—is due to proceed as planned for now, though its official status in limbo due to the unfortunate passing of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday.
Whenever the fight takes place, there is little doubt that Mayer (17-0, 5KOs) and Baumgardner (12-1. 7KOs) will enter as the two best 130-pound fighters in the world. The only debate is who is considered the best, though that will be settled once they enter the ring.
Baumgardner crashed the party with an emphatic fourth-round knockout of then-unbeaten WBC titlist Terri Harper last November 13 in Sheffield, England. The feat—recognized by BoxingScene.com as the 2021 Female Knockout of the Year—came eight days after Mayer outslugged and outlasted Maiva Hamadouche in their sensational WBO/IBF unification clash in the 2021 Female Fight of the Year last November 5 in Las Vegas.
Mayer made a point to stand and fight with the hard-hitting Hamadouche in picking up her second belt, just thirteen months after dominating unbeaten Eva Brodnicka to claim the WBO title in October 2020. The time spent in between her pair of title wins was spent attempting to secure a fight with Choi (19-0-1, 5KOs), before moving on to fights and opponents within reach.
The same was done by Baumgardner, who was led to believe that a WBC/WBA unification bout was in store for this summer only for Choi’s team to ghost her as well.
Once it became clear that Choi—who has not fought since last September and has made just one title defense per year dating back to 2018—would not be available, focus immediately shifted to Mayer-Baumgardner. The pairing is already the best rivalry in the sport outside the ring. The actual battle in the ring will determine the best junior lightweight in the world, whether or not Choi decides to get involved.
That said, Mayer remains receptive to the idea of staying at 130 long enough to truly clean out the division—though within reason.
“Once I beat Alycia, I will have taken the belt from every single champion,” stated Mayer. “I still want to press Choi to fight for the undisputed. After this fight, I will have collected all of the belts but hers. All she needs to do is just show up.
“Hopefully we can get the fight done by December or January, and then I have every intention of moving up to 135 after that.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox