There was a lot of trash-talking leading up to the fight between Alycia Baumgardner and Mikaela Mayer; it was clear both fighters did not have much love for each other.
Fortunately for the fans, this lived up to the hype.
Baumgardner (13-1, 7 KOs) defeated Mayer (17-1, 5 KOs) by split decision to unify the WBC, WBO, IBF, and Ring Magazine junior lightweight titles Saturday evening at The O2 Arena in London.
Baumgardner won with two scores of 96-95, while one judge gave the nod to Mayer(97-93).
Baumgardner and Mayer initiated the bout by calmly boxing from the outside, using her legs to move left and right when necessary and countering Mayer’s offense with short hooks and overhand rights around her guard.
In the fourth and fifth rounds, Mayer started to get her rhythm and landed more jabs and even landed a set of consecutive straight right hands. It was clear that the Olympian needed to increase the intensity of the fight to win some rounds. However, Baumgardner got her second wind and began landing more power shots in the later rounds, while Mayer landed more jabs and occasional right hands.
It was a very close fight, and according to Baumgardner, she did enough to win.
“I just want to first thank my lord, Jesus Christ, for blessing me and getting me through this moment,” Baumgardner said. “I worked my ass off to get here. Like I said before, my steps were ordained. I’ve claimed this. I’ve received it. I practiced this speech and what I was going to say.
“I landed the cleaner shots, the harder shots. I had her cut above her forehead. I was the harder puncher. I dug deep.”
Mayer felt she did enough to get the nod and believes the fans would agree
“I’m really confident that I won that fight,” Mayer said. “She was defeated. I saw it in her eyes. She was tired. She knows she lost the fight. She was shocked by the decision. She got lucky. I think the crowd believes that I won that fight. I took control of the fight from the second round on, for sure. At the very least, I won seven rounds clearly. I felt like I had it. I hope that she gives me a rematch. I think I deserve it, and I feel that the fans want to see it.”
Mayer wants the rematch, but Baumgardner has other plans.
“That girl ain’t getting no rematch,” Baumgardner said. “I’m going after Choi [Hyun-Mi], like I said. Undisputed is what I claimed. It’s what I’m going to do.”
A rematch should happen, but Baumgardner has options, and it looks like, for now, she will explore those options.