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Mikaela Mayer set for April 15th lightweight debut against Christina Linardatou

Christina Linardatou is the only woman to beat Alycia Baumgardner as a professional

Mikaela Mayer will make her lightweight debut against Christina Linardatou

Former unified super featherweight champion Mikaela Mayer is officially testing the waters at lightweight. Top Rank announced today that Mayer will face Christina Linardatou as part of the April 15th Joe Joyce vs Zhilei Zhang undercard in London.

Though likely best known for her 2019 loss to Katie Taylor, “Medusa” (14-2, 6 KO) has put together a solid body of work as a pro, including a 2018 split decision over Alycia Baumgardner that’s aged beautifully. At the very least, she’s not going to roll over for Mayer (17-1, 5 KO).

The question now is whether Mayer will stay at 135, potentially opening the door for a future clash with Taylor or Amanda Serrano, or continue to push for another crack at Baumgardner. I’m guessing the latter; judging by her quote in the press release, moving up was the most convenient way for her to face a meaningful, world-ranked opponent.

Mayer said, “The second I returned to the U.S. after my last fight in London, I called my team and told them to get me a fight ASAP. I didn’t want to wait, and I didn’t want to fight anyone other than a top contender! I’m hungry and motivated to prove that I’m still the best. When Top Rank sealed the deal with the tough and experienced Christina Linardatou, I was excited and inspired. She’s an aggressive, come-forward fighter, which is going to force me use all my tools. I always love the energy and support I get when visiting the UK, and I’m excited to come back and give everyone a great fight.”

Linardatou said, “I’m excited to be fighting Mikaela. She is coming off a loss to Alycia Baumgardner, whom I easily beat some years ago. I know she will be looking to make a statement in this fight. This is my first big fight after having a baby, which means my mission is different. Prior to having a baby, I would fight for titles and money. Now, I am fighting for legacy and to show my son how great his mom is.”

Denzel Bentley faces Kieran Smith that same evening, while Sam Noakes and Dennis McCann are still waiting for opponents.

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