Mikaela Mayer and Alycia Baumgardner have a date for their three-belt unification at 130 lbs, with Michael Rothstein reporting at ESPN.com that the bout will be part of the Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall event on Sept. 10 in London.
“The ESPN family of networks” will also have the U.S. rights to the show — so if you have ESPN+, you will have access, and it might also get an afternoon slot on ESPN, though in college football season that seems unlikely.
It’s set to be an even bigger event for women’s boxing now, with two of the best possible fights in the entire sport made for the same show. Shields vs Marshall is both an undisputed championship fight at middleweight and a long-simmering, genuine grudge match, and now we have the two best fighters at 130 meeting up, too.
Mayer (17-0, 5 KO) won the WBO title against Ewa Brodnick in 2020, and unified with the IBF title in Nov. 2021, beating Maiva Hamadouche in a terrific fight.
Baumgardner (12-1, 7 KO) burst onto the scene last November, destroying Terri Harper to take the WBC title.
Though matching two Americans on a show in London might seem a little odd, there’s a lot to consider here:
- The boxing community in the United Kingdom is simply more welcoming to the women’s side of the sport on the whole. It just is.
- Both Baumgardner and Mayer are familiar to UK fans. Baumgardner’s last two fights have been on Matchroom shows in Sheffield and Manchester, and Mayer has done some commentary work for Sky Sports.
- They’re not the fight being asked to sell tickets in this scenario; that’s on Shields vs Marshall, and Boxxer and Sky should do fine with that.
In short, it probably is the best place and card for this fight. This is a great matchup and I’m really, really looking forward to this show now even more than before.