At the age of 27, Mikaela has signed a promotional contract with Top Rank. A top female prospect at 130 pounds, she is a former amateur standout at the elite international level in the lightweight division.
She has fought two times in her first two months as a pro, both knockout wins.
In her last fight on September 22 in Tucson, Arizona, she won by third-round TKO against Allison Martinez.
ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael reported from ringside [excerpts]: Lightweight Mikaela Mayer, a 2016 U.S. Olympian, pummeled Allison Martinez of Spring, Texas, until Martinez’s corner stopped the fight in the third round.
Mayer landed virtually at will, dropped her in the first round with a right hand and again in the third round with a right hand, after which the corner threw in the towel at 39 seconds. But between the knockdowns, Smith took an absolute beating that referee Wes Melton did not seem interested in stopping. [End Rafael item]
In her post-fight interview, Mikaela said, “She took a lot of hard punches. I hit her very hard. My right hand was working really good and she ate a lot of punches. I felt good and relaxed.”
Mikaela made her pro debut on August 5 in Los Angeles, and won by first-round knockout against Widnelly Figueroa.
The Associated Press’ Greg Beacham reported from ringside [excerpts]: U.S. Olympic boxer Mikaela Mayer dominated her pro debut Saturday night, stopping Widnelly Figueroa 75 seconds into the first round.
Mayer hurt Figueroa with a right hand and followed with a finishing combination to claim her first professional victory.
“I thought I was going to feel a little more nervous, but I actually felt calm,” Mayer said.
Mayer fell one victory short of a medal in Rio de Janeiro, and the 27-year-old thought about waiting for four more years for another shot at a gold medal in Tokyo. Instead, she turned pro with Top Rank last month and immediately secured this 132-pound bout in her hometown on the undercard of Vasily Lomachenko’s 130-pound title fight with Miguel Marriaga.
Mayer’s longtime coach, Al Mitchell, plans to move the fighter among three camps for the next several months. She will train in Northern Michigan with Mitchell, in Colorado Springs with USA Boxing coach Kay Koroma, and back home in Los Angeles, where she hasn’t lived for several years.
“I want to get her four or five more fights to get her more polish, and see how she goes the distance,” Mitchell said.
Mayer had dozens of friends and family members in the Microsoft Theater. She plans to fight as often as possible while working toward an eventual title shot. [End Beacham item]
Mikaela is managed by George Ruiz, CEO of Intelligent Arts & Artists, and trained by Al Mitchell and Coach Kay Karoma. She boasts a sterling amateur resume which includes being a 2016 champion in the USA Boxing Elite Nationals, the America Olympic Qualifiers, and the U.S. Olympic Team Trials.
“Mikaela’s talent and personality translates to unique marketability. Not only are we confident she will succeed as a professional fighter, but she will elevate the women’s boxing category,” said Todd duBoef, president of Top Rank. “Fighting at an elite level as an amateur has prepared her for transitioning to the professional ranks.”
“As much as I loved competing for Team USA, I am incredibly excited for this next step in my career. When I sat down with Top Rank, they were the first promotion company that truly made me feel like they shared my vision for how I could help grow the sport,” said Mayer.
“Having the best promoter in the world supporting and believing in not just me, but in women’s boxing, is the fulfillment of a dream that began when I first put on boxing gloves. I am thrilled about our new partnership and the possibilities of what we can accomplish on this journey together. I can’t wait for my debut and look forward to the challenges of this transition.
“I’ve been very focused on the differences between fighting pro vs. amateur, and I’m eager to get in there, test myself on this new stage and showcase my skills. I haven’t fought much in the United States in the last three years, let alone in my hometown. In fact, I don’t think I have competed in L.A. since my first handful of fights back in ’08. It’s going to feel great to be back in my hometown where family and friends can watch me fight in person.”
“I had never trained a female boxer before I decided to train Mikaela, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my coaching career,” said Mitchell. “Mikaela came to me pretty green, and I immediately saw her determination, dedication, and attitude that doesn’t come along all that often in a young person.
“She had a goal in mind, a sense for how to manage her time, and dedicated herself to the plans she made to achieve those goals. She was always working hard, and listening to how she could make herself a better athlete and a champion boxer.
“I truly believe that Mikaela is ready to become a professional boxer. She is greatly respected in her sport, not only in the U.S, but by boxers, coaches, fans, and the press, as well. I believe that she can help grow the sport of women’s boxing tremendously because of her popularity in the sport, and her superior talent.”
“Mikaela walked in to my office just after the 2012 Olympic Trials. I knew she was a star within five minutes of meeting her,” said Ruiz. “She promised me then she’d get to the top of her sport. We’ve worked closely all throughout her brilliant amateur career and the Rio Olympics, so when Mikaela decided to turn pro, I knew signing with Top Rank was the best way to showcase her skills and elevate the sport of women’s boxing.
“She’s a dazzling technical boxer, works harder than anyone I know, and is going to be a world champion.”