Another Win For Layla McCarter, And Now Another Wait
By Phil Woolever
Layla McCarter notched another win last weekend, this one coming in Karlsruhe, Germany against solid Eva Bajic.
McCarter improved to 42-13-5 (11) and showed some of the form and technique that provides her fans with evidence she could emerge victorious against any other elite boxer near her weight division.
Getting the win against Bajic, now 14-13 (9), was relatively easy. Getting a lucrative engagement with another top marque fighter is not such a simple matter.
Against Bajic it was pretty much a clean sweep, with one score of 100-90 and a pair at 99-91.
Still, McCarter didn’t look like the dominant force she often has before.
“Bajic was very awkward in the way she moved and threw her punches,” McCarter told ThePrizefighters afterward. “My timing suffered as a result. I think early on I realized something was off for me, so I decided to take the fight some rounds, perhaps even to the distance.”
“I wanted the KO but wasn’t finding my rhythm. As expected, she was in good shape. She’d just fought six rounds with Mikaela Lauren the week before. She was durable at this time.”
“Perhaps she was hurt, but I couldn’t capitalize the way I wanted to.”
Bajic showed up ready and wasn’t going to concede anything, in an outdoor ring situated near the stadium bleachers of a grassy infield.
The contest was a featured part of a large, pay per view event.
McCarter scored immediately with the jab. She kept her guard high and seemed content to alternate working on offense then defense as Bajic counterpunched then tried to tie her up.
Both women stood between rounds, it didn’t appear there were stools available.
“I always stand between rounds,” mused McCarter. “Just as we do in sparring, and it’s easier for my corner, Luis Tapia, to work by himself. He’s been with me 18 years and made everything possible.”
McCarter was in front the entire way, but Bajic leaned back effectively to avoid any serious punishment and kept McCarter from looking her best.
Bajic only managed to keep up in a session or two, but she never seemed outclassed by her much more renowned opponent.
Round 5 featured good work from each woman, but the crowd never got truly excited.
McCarter landed strong body shots in the 6th that backed Bajic up more, and Bajic became much more cautious in the 7th as cumulative damage from McCarter’s consistent assault showed dividends.
It looked like the well- conditioned McCarter could have gone twenty rounds, but she appeared a little winded by the end of the bout.
Round 9 was the most one-sided of the night as McCarter forced Bajic around the strands in retreat.
As they touched gloves for the final frame, there was little reaction from the crowd. McCarter landed some big rights as the fight wound down and the applause grew.
There was no question as to the result, but plenty of “what if” vibes as long-retired Regina Hamlich presented McCarter’s WIBF belt and they posed for photos.
Record of excellence
It must be at least a bit frustrating for McCarter to see her peers like Cecilia Braekus, Clarissa Shields, Christina Hammer and Katie Taylor landing big broadcast paydays.
McCarter seems to get treated more like an unproven contender who has to wait for opportunity to arise than like a fighter many consider at, or at least very near, the top of the female boxing food chain.
In the mean time, McCarter takes on the toughest foes she can find, in the best situations she can get. Saturday night in Germany was a decent option, but it probably wasn’t as good as McCarter should have earned through her longtime record of excellence.
“I want to say thanks to the promotional team of TS Fight Sports and RG Sport Management, as well as Jurgen Lutz of the GBU and WIBF for making this fight possible,” said McCarter. “Thanks to my fans and friends in attendance and around the world for the great support and the love!”
“I don’t care who we fight next,” concluded McCarter. I’ve given up chasing fighters who clearly don’t wish to face me in the ring. I’d like to make the best fights happen of course, but if they don’t, I’ll be fine with what I’ve already accomplished in my long career.”
It is said that patience is a virtue.
So is a strong left jab.
Luckily for Layla McCarter, she happens to have both.