Mikaela Mayer doesn’t think Alycia Baumgardner merits a fight with women’s lightweight champion Katie Taylor, not when, as Mayer puts it, they still have unfinished business to settle.
California’s Mayer (17-1, 5 KOs) and Michigan’s Baumgardner (13-1, 7 KOs) encountered each other in the ring last month in a highly regarded 130-pound unification bout. In the end, after 10 competitive rounds, Baumgardner was named the winner to become the IBF, WBO, and WBC champion, although many observers believed Mayer could have just as easily had her hands raised.
Mayer has repeatedly stated that the appropriate thing for Baumgardner to do is to give her a rematch at some point down the line. Baumgardner, however, is expected to try and make a fight with South Korea’s Hyun-Mi Choi, the WBA titlist, for the undisputed 130-pound championship.
A rematch is no sure thing, since Mayer and Baumgardner do not share the same promoter. Mayer is backed by Top Rank, while Baumgardner is promoted by Eddie Hearn. Their fight, which served as the co-feature to the undisputed middleweight championship between Claressa Shields and Savannah Marshall, was co-promoted by Top Rank and televised on ESPN+.
That puts Baumgardner in a promotionally advantageous situation to land a fight with one of the marquee stars of women’s boxing, Ireland’s Taylor, a Hearn-promoted fighter who is coming off a clear points win over Karen Carabajal last month at Wembley Arena in London. Earlier this summer, Taylor picked up a banner win over Amanda Serrano at New York’s Madison Square Garden in a 10-round barnburner.
Mayer, however, does not think Baumgardner is ready to move up and face Taylor and Taylor's high offensive output. Moreover, Mayer thinks Baumgardner would stand to make a lot of money if the rematch were to happen with her.
“She’ll see,” Mayer said of Baumgardner in an interview with FightHype.com. “Where else can she go (but fight me)? Where else can she go? I’m the money fight … No one believes in that fight (Taylor) right now. She has to deserve that fight with Taylor. Right now she would not be on the winning end of that fight. No one believes she would beat Katie Taylor.
“After round 3 she completely died against me, and you think someone like Katie Taylor, who has one of the highest punch counts and speed in women’s boxing, that she’s gonna take it to her? She doesn’t do anything.
"She’s not the dog that she says she is. She doesn’t deserve that fight with Katie Taylor. She has a lot to prove before she goes up against somebody like Katie. And her best bet is to come back and rematch me. I know Eddie’s smart, he knows where the money is. The numbers are there, the viewership is there, people want to see that fight.”
Mayer said she understands that a rematch with Baumgardner would likely be promoted by Hearn's Matchroom and thus be broadcasted by DAZN, the streaming platform. Mayer, whose promoter Top Rank has an exclusive boxing content deal with ESPN, said she would not hesitate to "go across the street" in order to participate in the rematch.
"I have no choice," Mayer said. "I get how this works. She is now the A-side going into this rematch because she has the belts. So yeah I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do."