Mikaela Mayer returns to the ring on Saturday night, on the undercard of Joe Joyce vs Zhilei Zhang at The Copper Box arena in London. Live on BT Sports it will be Mikaela’s first outing since she lost her two World titles to Alicia Baumgardner in October.
Mayer has a stern test in her return facing the only fighter to defeat Baumgardner so far, Christina Linardatou (14-2-0). It is evident that Mayer wants to send a message by facing her as she has had her calls for a rematch knocked back by Baumgardner in recent months.
The 32-year-old from Colorado, USA has made a name for herself with her impressive record, including holding the WBO and IBF female titles simultaneously in 2020 and 2021. However, after losing both titles in October 2022, Mayer is determined to make a comeback and regain her status as a world champion, starting Saturday night.
Mayer’s journey to becoming a professional boxer started as an amateur, where she won a bronze medal at the 2012 World Championships and represented the U.S. at the 2016 Olympics. Her Olympic dreams were cut short when she lost to Anastasia Belyakova in the 60kg category, but this did not deter her from pursuing her passion for boxing.
At the age of 17, Mayer began training under the guidance of renowned boxing coach Al Mitchell, who had trained legends like Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather, and Andre Ward. Initially, Al was hesitant to train Mayer, but he saw her determination and made a deal with her to enrol in college in exchange for his training. With the help of manager George Ruiz and Top Rank president Todd Duboef, Mayer signed a deal to fight five times a year and made her debut in August 2017 against Widnelly Figueroa, winning by knockout.
Since then, Mayer went on to face opponents like Nydia Feliciano, Vanessa Bradford, and Helen Joseph before she captured her first World title in October 2020. Mayer won the WBO Super Featherweight Title with a unanimous decision win over Ewa Brodnicka at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
A year later, and one defence in between, Mayer captured another World Title when she beat Maiva Hamadouche on points, Mayer captured the IBF Super Featherweight World title as well as the inaugural Ring magazine strap as she moved to 16-0.
Mikaela will be very well known to UK boxing fans not for just what she does in the ring but what she does out of it. She is a regular pundit for Sky Sports and has also provided ringside commentary over the last few years, displaying her in depth knowledge of the sport with on point analysis.
Mayer’s road to glory may have hit a bump in the road in last October against Baumgardner (14-1) but she is jumping straight back in with a tough test. Mayer felt hard done by to lose that fight on the judge’s cards and has campaigned for a rematch ever since. The calls have been knocked back but if Mayer is to connivingly beat the only fighter to hold a win over Baumgardner, the shouts for it are only going to get louder.
Christina Linardatou holds an impressive record of 14 wins and only 2 defeats. When you consider one of these defeats is to Katie Taylor (22-0), you can be assured that Mayer will be in for a fight this weekend as she looks to put herself back in contention for another World Title.
By Lee Browne