The undisputed middleweight world title bout between Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall features a chief support fight that could easily headline any show, as IBF and WBO super featherweight world champion Mikaela Mayer faces WBC champion Alycia Baumgardner in a huge unification bout.
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Mayer turned professional in 2017 and instantly sent shockwaves through the professional ranks as she would stop Widnelly Figueroa in the first round on her debut. Mayer showed her power in her second bout too, as she dropped Allison Martinez in round one before finishing her in the third. Mayer would head to the Theater at Madison Square Garden next to face Nydia Felicano, two judges scored it a shutout for Mayer, however, judge, John Basile controversially scored the bout 38-38 meaning that Mayer was declared the winner by majority decision. Mayer would get back to the KO streak next time out, as she would stop Maria Semertzoglou in one round.
Mayer would step up to six rounds next and would make use of the extra four minutes, as she would pick up two shutout victories in a row over Baby Nansen and Sheena Flamand. Mayer would score a knockout in her next bout though, as she blasted Edina Kiss out within three rounds. Titles were on the horizon for Mayer and the vacant NABF title would be on the line in her next bout. Mayer successfully picked up the title as she scored a shutout victory over Vanessa Bradford. Successful points defences over Calista Silgado and Yareli Larios would put Mayer in good stead to start fighting ten rounds. In Mayer's first ten-rounder, she successfully outpointed Lizbeth Crespo in a non-title fight. Mayer would next successfully defend her NABF title against Alejandra Soledad Zamora by sixth-round stoppage. Mayer would follow this victory up with a win over Helen Joseph before getting a world title shot.
Mayer would face the undefeated Ewa Brodnicka for the vacant WBO world title. Brodnicka would miss weight, meaning the title would only be on the line for Mayer and Mayer would produce a punch-perfect performance to become WBO champion by a wide points decision. Mayer would successfully defend the title against former world champion Erica Farias by unanimous decision before going on the hunt for unifications. A unification with IBF champion Maiva Hamadouche would come next, the pair would put on a tremendous show and Mayer would be the one to leave with the two belts as she got the unanimous decision. Last time out, Mayer defended her belts successfully by unanimous decision against Jennifer Han.
Baumgardner also turned pro in 2017 and like Mayer, she sent shockwaves through the division as she got a first-round stoppage win in her debut against Britain Hart. Baumgardner strung three first-round stoppages together following her debut as Wendy Toney, Lashandra Tabron and Brittney Artis could not withstand Baumgardner's power for two minutes. The lady that held Mayer to a majority decision, Nydia Felicano would be the fifth opponent of Baumgardner's career. Baumgardner successfully defeated Felicano by a unanimous decision to pick up the WBC international title.
Kirstie Simmons would very nearly shock Baumgardner, as the pair competed over six rounds and the result would be a split decision, but it would be Baumgardner on the right side of the decision. Baumgardner stepped up to face former world champion, Christina Linardatou. This bout would also end in a split decision, but Baumgardner would find herself on the wrong side of the decision and would be dealt the first loss of her career. Baumgardner would bounce back with a first-round stoppage victory ten months later over Gabriella Mezei as she began her quest back to the top. A unanimous decision victory followed over Annette Pabello before a first-round stoppage over Cristina Del Valle Pacheco a month later would see Baumgardner head up the rankings. Baumgardner would next defeat Vanessa Bradford by unanimous decision to set up a shot at Terri Harper's WBC and IBO world titles.
Baumgardner would travel to Sheffield to fight Harper, Harper was a heavy favourite but Baumgardner would rip up the script. Baumgardner's heavy hands would affect Harper, as the champion was visibly hurt on occasions. Round four would see the bout stopped, as Baumgardner landed a shot that bizarrely stopped Harper on her feet forcing the referee to stop the bout.
AND THE NEW! ????????????
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) November 14, 2021
Baumgardner made it known that she wanted Mayer next but instead, she would return to the UK to fight Edith Soledad Matthtysse in Manchester. In the lead-up to the Matthysse bout, IntuBoxing's Matt Lenihan caught up with Baumgardner and when she was asked about Mayer, Baumgardner responded by saying: "I will dog-walk that b**ch." Baumgardner would go on to defeat Matthysse and that would set up this huge unification bout.
Mayer has confirmed on Twitter that Baumgardner's IBO title will not be on the line this Saturday, as they refuse to pay sanctioning fees for a belt that doesn't help her go undisputed.
Her IBO belt is not on the line. Not paying sanctioning fees for a belt that doesn’t help you go Undisputed.
— Mikaela Mayer (@MikaelaMayer1) September 6, 2022
This bout is the chief support on the historic Shields vs Marshall card this Saturday at the O2 Arena, which is broadcast live on Sky Sports.