Mikaela Mayer approaches WBO and IBF defense after ‘reaching another level’ | boxing news

Mikaela Mayer thinks she’s “reached another level” as she prepares to defend her WBO and IBF super featherweight titles against former world champion Jennifer Han.

Mayer added the IBF belt to her WBO title with a thrilling points victory over Maiva Hamadouche last November, while Han lost on points in her last fight against the Olympic gold medalist and undisputed lightweight world champion. Katie Taylor.

Mayer, who just signed a new multi-year contract extension with Top Rank, expects herself and Han to be at their best this weekend. The fight is live Sky Sports Action in the early hours of Sunday morning from 2am.

“I think we’re both going to be stronger and sharper on Saturday night,” said Mayer, who weighed 129.8 pounds compared to Han’s 128.8 pounds.

“Training for this fight I started to get to another level of all the work I put in for the Hamadouche fight and I expect her [Han] feels the same.

“When you prepare for someone like Taylor and I coming out of Hamadouche, you go to another level. Sometimes what you worked on during that camp doesn’t really materialize until the next fight. I noticed that many.”

“I feel like I’m at my peak,” Mayer added.

Mayer also holds the Ring Magazine title for her division. She is looking forward to unification bouts with WBA champion Hyun Mi Choi and WBC belt holder Alycia Baumgardner and is confident they will come to fruition.

“If the girls want those belts, want the fights they say they are and are who they say they are, then they’re going to want to fight with me,” Mayer said.

“I’m sitting here with the material [belts] everyone wants, so there’s no reason these fights can’t happen this year.

“I feel like I’m in my prime and I don’t want to sit down. There are so many girls I want to challenge myself against at 130lbs, 135lbs and maybe even 140 pounds. So there’s no reason these fights should ‘do anything this year.’

“I will show my boxing IQ”

Mayer also clarified that her boxing IQ will be on display inside the ring at Costa Mesa and that she intends to vary her style against Han.

“One thing I’m proud of is that I think I’m a very versatile boxer, one of the most versatile I think,” Mayer said.

“I can do a lot of different things and people finally understood that when they saw me punching for 10 rounds with Hamadouche. I’m tall and skinny so people always expect me to box, but I’m versatile – I can do everything.

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Mikaela Mayer has become the WBO and IBF super featherweight world champion after scoring a big scoreboard points win

“I think in this fight you’ll see my boxing IQ a bit more, which I’m excited to show. It’s a totally different fight, so it’s going to be a totally different game plan.”

Han, who returned to the ring just six months after giving birth for her fight against Taylor, believes she is now back in top form.

“Women are amazing. Our bodies change and giving birth to a human being and bouncing back to yourself before pregnancy is an amazing process,” Han said.

“I didn’t have enough time to get back to my pre-pregnancy self and yet I did what I did [against Taylor]. I have [now] had time. I’m ready, I’m prepared and this fight is the perfect opportunity.”

Mayer’s fight for equality in boxing

Ahead of the weekend fight, Mayer announced a new multi-year contract extension with Top Rank and the fighter believes it highlights a big accomplishment in her bid for equality in the sport.

“Since I walked into the gym 14 years ago, I have been fighting for a place for women in this sport and to prove that we are a mighty force in the sport of boxing,” Mayer said.

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Mikaela Mayer visited Llanrumney Phoenix Boxing Club in February to pass on some of her world class boxing experience

“So this contract really confirms that I did that, to a certain extent, and I achieved that goal to a certain extent. There is still a long way to go to create equality in this sport and to bridge this gap, but I couldn’t be happier with this contract.

“I’ve always enjoyed working with Top Rank, and when I first signed with them five years ago, I knew I had a lot to prove. Every time I stepped into that ring, I felt I was fighting to show the boxing world that I belonged and belonged to women.

“I plan to maintain this spirit over the next few years as we break down even more barriers and create an even greater legacy.”