In some ways, women’s boxing dominated 2022, with stars such as Katie Taylor and Claressa Shields engaging in genuinely huge, exciting fights that all fans tuned in to see. Next year promises to be more of the same, with the sport continuing to thrive. Speaking of Taylor, the Irish star who is the unified lightweight champion has been called out by Mikaela Mayer, the former IBF and WBO super-featherweight champion.
Mayer, who believes she was robbed in her October unification fight with Alycia Baumgardner (and a number of fans agreed with her that the split decision in London, on the Shields-Savannah Marshall card, should have gone Mayer’s way) has told Sky Sports News that she will be moving up to 135 pounds in her next fight, and that after that she would love to get it on with Taylor.
“I’m going up [to lightweight] for this next fight, I’m going to start making a name for myself in that division,” Mayer said. “Katie Taylor has always been on my list. I have a lot of respect for her, she has accomplished a lot in this sport and I want to challenge myself against her. I definitely hope to get that fight in 2023.”
Mayer said her next fight, the move to 135, is “90 percent done” and that it could be announced next week. Mayer needs to get back in the win column before she can realistically think about getting a shot at Taylor, who has plenty of options, including a return fight with Amanda Serrano. But Mayer, now 32 years old, says she is thinking even bigger, as in going up even higher in the weights.
“I feel I have the size and skill to go up to 140 and 147,” she said.
Mayer still very much wants that rematch with Baumgardner, but she says she is “not going to sit around and wait for it.” So, might Taylor – who really wants to have a big fight at Croke Park in Ireland next year – accept Mayer’s challenge? It would almost certainly be a good fight if it did happen, maybe a great fight.
Mayer of Los Angeles is currently 17-1(5) and she has almost as much experience as the unbeaten, at 22-0(6), Taylor has. Mayer’s November 2021 slugfest with Maiva Hamadouche was an absolutely action-packed fight. Might a Taylor-Mayer fight be even better?