The 130-pound division is going to have a title unification fight, as Mikaela Mayer and Alycia Baumgardner have agreed to terms for a bout later this summer or in the early fall.
Mayer, the WBO and IBF champion, and Baumgardner, the WBC champion, will take place on a date and at a place to be determined.
A source told ESPN that both fighters will be making the biggest paydays of their career and the fight will be put on by Top Rank. The fight is expected to be broadcast on the ESPN family of networks as well as Sky Sports.
Mayer and Baumgardner have been going back and forth on social media for months, building anticipation for the fight.
“To me, my biggest thing, women are now on the forefront, like this is a huge time for women’s boxing,” Mayer told ESPN. “And I want to change the narrative. I want to be, I want us women to be the ones who give the fans the fights that they want and deserve.
“Because that’s an issue in boxing right now. We have all these fights that the fans want to see and then they are just not getting done. I don’t want to be that era that is so afraid to lose their [zero] that they avoid the fights that the fans want to see.”
Mayer (17-0, 5 KO) has been pushing for the fight since Baumgardner knocked out Terri Harper in November 2021 to win the WBC belt. Baumgardner (12-1, 7 KO) had initially told ESPN she wanted to fight Hyun Mi Choi, the WBA champion, before making the fight with Mayer an undisputed title fight.
Instead, Mayer and Baumgardner decided to fight each other first. Bob Arum, the Top Rank chairman, called it “one of the most anticipated matchups in women’s boxing.”
“I’m glad we finally got it done. Big props to Top Rank,” Mayer said. “They really stepped up here and they backed me up when it came to this matchup, because they know that I wanted it and they know I deserve it and they believe in me.
“So they made an offer she obviously couldn’t refuse.”
Baumgardner, who celebrates her 28th birthday on Tuesday, said the timing was right for the fight to happen on her end as well. She called it “an awesome birthday gift to have, to have an opportunity to beat Mikaela on her platform.”
Choi, Baumgardner said, was not budging on demands. Baumgardner has wanted to fight Mayer since their days as amateurs and it didn’t work out then, but once Mayer turned pro, this was a fight Baumgardner wanted to have at this level.
“I think it’s even better because we have smaller gloves and no headgear and I’m going to hurt her,” Baumgardner said. “Because she’s never been in the ring with somebody like me before.”
Baumgardner’s and Mayer’s camps have talked about scheduling this fight in the past — before Baumgardner was a champion — but it didn’t work out then. Now, the combination of timing, promotion and finances all “aligned the way it was supposed to be this time.” It’s also a fight that worked out for the benefit of the sport as Mayer is promoted by Top Rank and Baumgardner by Matchroom Boxing.
Now, it comes as the next big fight in the women’s divisions of boxing coming off April’s Katie Taylor-Amanda Serrano fight at Madison Square Garden, which Taylor won by split decision on April 30.
“This fight, it’s just another big women’s fight that we need for the sport of boxing,” Baumgardner said. “We need this for the 130 division. I believe that it’s just a different caliber fight because you have two people who actually don’t like each other and the buildup is just perfect.
“It just makes for another women’s superfight to have.”