Mikaela Mayer ready for Natasha Jonas next: ‘I’m on my mission back to the world titles’


Liam Smith rematches Chris Eubank Jr in Manchester tonight, live on Sky Sports Box Office; on the undercard Adam Azim takes on Aram Fanyan, Frazer Clarke boxes David Allen, Mikaela Mayer fights Silvia Bortot, plus Lauren Price and more will be in action

Mikaela Mayer ready for Natasha Jonas next: 'I'm on my mission back to the world titles'

Former unified world champion Mikaela Mayer is set to return to the ring tonight at super-lightweight against Italy’s Silvia Bortot.

They will fight on the undercard of the Liam Smith versus Chris Eubank Jr rematch at the AO Arena in Manchester, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

America’s Mayer is increasingly familiar with boxing in the UK. Last October she clashed with Alycia Baumgardner in a super-featherweight unification on a historic night for women’s boxing when Claressa Shields outpointed Savannah Marshall to become undisputed middleweight champion at the O2.

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Mikaela Mayer ready for Natasha Jonas next: 'I'm on my mission back to the world titles'

The 33-year-old lost a contentious split-decision to Baumgardner but didn’t let that keep her away from Britain, as she returned to London in April, defeating Lucy Wildheart via unanimous decision.

Mayer told the Toe2Toe podcast: “I know the plan. I’m on my mission back to the world titles. People might not see what that plan is just yet, but it’ll unfold.”

Mayer held the WBO and IBF super-featherweight belts previously. Discussing her transition to a higher weight class, she revealed how much the added weight has improved her: “Sparring feels 100 times better. I felt so much sharper in camp. I was having more fun. It wasn’t so hard and just depressing.

“If I’m going to stay motivated and get back to being a world champion and get through this next division, which has a lot of tough girls up there, then I need to be motivated.”

Nor was this a spur-of-the-moment decision. She explained: “My move was to go undisputed at 130lbs, and then I would have moved up to 135lbs. I did move up to 135lbs. It was the same thing as cutting to 130lbs, it was no different.

“At this point in my career, I want to see what I can accomplish just being healthy and not worried about the weight cut.”

Bortot may not be a high-profile opponent but is a gradual move in the right direction for Mayer as she climbs her way up to 147lbs. She said: “It’s boxing, you can’t look past anyone. I know that she’s not a big name, but this is my option on my way back to the world titles.”

She believes she is ready to challenge for another world title. Mayer stated: “I’m in my prime, and this is the time in my career where I need to be taking on the biggest challenge. I don’t need to wait. I feel better than ever.”

There have been discussions that Mayer could challenge Natasha Jonas for her IBF welterweight title in the near future. She said: “I’ve been grinding, working hard and getting ready for that world title shot, which I absolutely want as soon as possible after this fight.”

Liam Smith vs Chris Eubank Jr II is live on Sky Sports Box Office tonight. Book it now


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