‘To be part of this generation is amazing’ – Mikaela Mayer hails progress in women’s boxing ahead of her world title clash against Jennifer Han and would love to face Katie Taylor winner against Amanda Serrano


Katie Taylor, Amanda Serrano, Claressa Shields and Savannah Marshall. These are just a few of the female boxing stars that have emerged over the past decade.

Mikaela Mayer, the unified world super featherweight champion signed to Top Rank, is among those names as key members of this breakthrough generation.

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Mayer turned pro with Top Rank in 2017[/caption]

“I always knew deep down that I would be a great player in this game and have a career in boxing,” Mayer said.

“Even though there was no market for it, it’s just something that I always believed I would be able to accomplish.

“Women’s boxing is so popular right now and growing, so to be part of this generation is amazing. There’s still a lot to do, but we’ve come a long way.

It wasn’t until 2012 that women were able to start competing in the Olympics and Mayer believes that was a key factor in cultivating the competition that exists in women’s boxing today.

“The talent pool is so much bigger than it was in the Laila Ali days and a big part of that is that we are allowed to compete in the Olympics. Now we have this pool of athletes who can compete at the highest level and that has increased our skills.

“It’s the first generation where you’ll see Olympic champions come into the pros and compete with each other…that’s why people notice us and we gain a lot more respect.”


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Despite all the progress that has been made in women’s boxing, it’s still a tough game to navigate.

Mayer quickly found out when she joined the pro ranks and there were no offers on the table.

“Even though I always felt like I would be someone who would grow the women’s boxing market, I almost lost faith in that for a second because it was so hard to come out of the Olympics and I felt like I was back where I started,” she admitted.

'To be part of this generation is amazing' - Mikaela Mayer hails progress in women's boxing ahead of her world title clash against Jennifer Han and would love to face Katie Taylor winner against Amanda Serrano
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Laila Ali is the daughter of Muhammad Ali and she competed between 1999 and 2007, winning multiple world titles along the way.[/caption]

Just when it looked like boxing might not be a viable career choice and Mayer was considering switching to MMA, she landed a meeting with Top Rank president Todd Du Boeuf, who was initially skeptical. as to Mayer’s signature.

The American said: “I had to sell myself to Todd Du Boeuf that if there was one woman to change the market and create space for women in sport, it would be me.”

It’s safe to say that having become a unified world champion and having headlined her own card on more than one occasion, Mayer has been well worth the investment for Top Rank.

That being said, Mayer admitted winning a world title doesn’t change your life as a boxer like it does with men and it wasn’t until her unification bout with Maiva Hamadouche that she really got it. the respect she deserved.

'To be part of this generation is amazing' - Mikaela Mayer hails progress in women's boxing ahead of her world title clash against Jennifer Han and would love to face Katie Taylor winner against Amanda Serrano
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Mayer defeated Maiva Hamadouche by unanimous decision to become the unified IBF and WBO super featherweight champion.[/caption]

In terms of next steps, Mayer is eyeing the top of women’s boxing and the top of the pound-for-pound list.

Mayer said, “I’ve moved up the ranks on the pound-for-pound list and I still have some work to do, but I definitely plan to top that list in the next few years.”

Mayer is coached by legendary trainer Al Mitchell.

He was the head coach of the US Olympic boxing team in 1996 and has worked with more than 800 amateur national champions and three professional world champions – the perfect man to lead Mayer to the top.

She added: “Al definitely doesn’t allow shortcuts, we work very hard at every camp, he keeps me humble and doesn’t let me look past anyone.”

'To be part of this generation is amazing' - Mikaela Mayer hails progress in women's boxing ahead of her world title clash against Jennifer Han and would love to face Katie Taylor winner against Amanda Serrano
Taylor and Serrano to headline Madison Square Garden
Mark Robinson/Matchroom

Ideally, Mayer would like to become the undisputed champion at 130 pounds, but the other two champions, Alycia Baumgardner and Hyun Mi Choi, are signed to Matchroom Boxing and so Mayer believes Eddie Hearn has booked them for a unification fight with each other. others.

Alternatively, Mayer has the option to move up to lightweight, where she could potentially face the winner of Katie Taylor against Amanda Serrano, as the pair are set to meet in the ring on April 30 and Mayer will be at ringside for the fight.

“I would happily go all the way up to 135 pounds, I’d love to go up against Taylor’s winner against Serrano,” she said.

“I always imagined a fight between me and Katie, a big fight, which I’ve had for years. She’s achieved a lot, she’s at the top of her game and it’s a test for me, it’s a challenge.

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