Alycia Baumgardner has enjoyed every second of her developing feud with divisional rival Mikaela Mayer.
The war of words—mostly through social media and the actual media—has evolved into one of the year’s most anticipated bouts. The pair of junior lightweight titlists—Baumgardner (12-1, 7KOs) owning the WBC title, Mayer (17-0, 5KOs) the unified IBF/WBO champ—will collide likely in early-to-mid September, as announced by co-promoters Top Rank (Mayer) and Baugardner).
The date and location are still to be determined, with the event to air on an ESPN platform in the U.S. and Sky Sports in the U.K. It comes just weeks after Baumgardner’s promoter Eddie Hearn hinted to BoxingScene.com that his fighter could first face WBA titlist Hyun Mi Choi—also promoted by Matchroom—before plans soon shifted to a mouthwatering showdown with Mayer.
“All that yapping you was doin’, here I come,” Baumgardner vowed on Monday upon the fight’s formal announcement.
Never one to hold her tongue, the unbeaten and unified titlist refused to allow the comment go unchecked.
“All that yapping got this fight made,” Mayer immediately replied.
The fight comes on the heels of the leading contender for 2022 Fight of the Year—male or female—taking place April 30 at Madison Square Garden, where Katie Taylor (21-0, 6KOs) and Amanda Serrano (42-2-1, 30KOs) somehow surpassed exceedingly high expectations for their epic superfight. Baumgardner and Mayer were both in attendance, shortly after each made successful title defenses earlier in the month.
Mayer turned away former IBF featherweight titlist Jennifer Han in an April 9 ESPN-televised main event from Costa Mesa, California. The fight was her third overall title defense, and first since her ten-round win over Maiva Hamadouche to defend the WBO belt and win the IBF title in their unforgettable November 5 unification bout in Las Vegas. The ten-round slugfest was hailed as the 2021 BoxingScene.com Female Fight of the Year.
Baumgardner made the first defense of her WBC strap in a ten-round decision over Edith Soledad Matthysse on April 16 in London. The bout was made on short notice, after originally sought opponent and mandatory challenger Elhem Mekhaled was unavailable for the DAZN-streamed event.
The fight marked the second straight trip to jolly old England for Detroit’s Baumgardner, who traveled abroad to claim her title in a big way. Baumgardner dethroned England’s Terri Harper with a vicious fourth-round knockout last November 13 in Sheffield, England. The feat was recognized as the 2021 BoxingScene.com Female Knockout of the Year, along with introducing Baumgardner’s arrival with authority.
After Baumgardner and Mayer both enjoyed title wins just one week apart on two straight occasions, the time came for their paths to cross. Baumgardner could have settled for a lower-profile but still significant title unification with South Korea’s Choi, where a win wouldn’t have been guaranteed as the unbeaten WBA titlist has held a belt at featherweight or junior lightweight from her first pro fight.
Instead, the rising star—who celebrates her 28th birthday on Tuesday—dares to be greater.
“Just know this fight happen because of yours truly,” insisted Baumgardner.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox