Fight Results: Mikaela Mayer Makes Successful Lightweight Debut
Former unified junior lightweight world champion Mikaela Mayer of Colorado Springs (18-1, 5 KOs) tested the waters at lightweight for the first time, and the water was fine. Mayer wins the unanimous decision over late replacement Lucy Wildheart of Sweden (10-2, 4 KOs). Scores were 100-90, 98-92, and 98-91. Mayer wins an interim WBC title.
“She took it last minute. That was really gutsy of her. She was tough and durable, I can see why she had the confidence to do that,” said Mayer. “When I went to go attack, she would take that little step back. I like to fight on the inside.”
Mayer looked comfortable at the weight with a much higher work rate than Wildheart, a 30-year-old who came in with a five-fight win streak on just 24 hours' notice. The British Boxing Board of Control denied a license to scheduled opponent Christina Linardatou, reportedly due to a disputed medical issue involving a repaired eye. Mayer learned how to handle last-minute opponent changes during her successful amateur career, where this is common. Mayer said she and her team did a quick Google check, watched two rounds on video, and took care of business.
Mayer said when she felt confident she could take whatever Wildheart might dish out, she went to the body. It was a successful strategy, landing 116 body punches to just 27 for Wildheart.
Mayer landed 236 of 592 punches thrown (40%), and Wildheart landed 131 of 462 punches thrown (28%). According to CompuBox, Mayer set a new career high for body punches, landing 18 in the fifth round alone
Ahead for Mayer: Katie Taylor?
Mayer's goal is to challenge undisputed women's lightweight champion Katie Taylor. She has made no secret of it.
“I do believe that Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano are supposed to go for their rematch, so assuming that still happens, I will challenge the winner of that. So, it's definitely really exciting for me.
This is where I belong. I belong in big fights. I belong in world title fights. I'm in my prime. I feel great, and I want the toughest challenges possible, and right now, at 135, that's Katie Taylor.”
“I belong in big fights, I belong in world title fights. I'm in my prime. I feel great and I want the toughest challenges possible,” said Mayer. “Right now at 135, that's Katie Taylor.”
Mayer isn't ready for Taylor's skills and relentless attack. She would be competitive but as a considerable underdog. Taylor is 36, and the 31-year-old Mayer may want to let Father Time lend her a hand.
On the Joyce vs. Zhang undercard, a trio of talented British prospects came up winners on the undercard: heavyweight Moses Itauma, middleweight Denzel Bentley, and lightweight Sam Noakes.
Bentley of London (18-2, 15 KOs) picks up the British middleweight title over countryman Kieran Smith (18-2, 7 KOs).