Mikaela Mayer Targets World Titles, Lizbeth Crespo in the Way
By David A. Avila
Mikaela Mayer always stands out.
Years ago, an amateur tournament comprised of teams from different nations engaged in a high school gymnasium in Oxnard, Calif. Dozens of female boxers exchanged blows and showed off their technique.
But it was difficult to ignore a certain lanky lightweight blond who ferociously pummeled a Polish fighter of equal size and proportions. That was Mayer and her no prisoners approach to life.
A year later while scouring different gyms in the East L.A. and Maywood areas, I spotted a blonde wearing a green outfit and exchanging blows with a couple of professional boxers. It was Mayer in full hunt mode in preparation for the Olympic trials.
The Southern California blonde didn’t make it that year. But that hunger and self-motivation was starkly apparent. In 2016, she finally did make the Olympic team.
Mayer’s like one of those laser-guided torpedoes. Once she targets a site: kaboom.
Now the undefeated NABF super featherweight titlist, Mayer (10-0, 4 KOs) faces Argentina’s Lizbeth Crespo (13-4, 3 KOs) in a bout set for 10 rounds at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. ESPN + will show the Top Rank fight.
“My opponent is very aggressive,” she said about Crespo who has challenged for world titles in the past. “She is shorter but loves the looping right hand.”
That’s Mayer. She analyzes, plans and marches forward.
“Being as tall as I am, I have to be sure to carry my hands high and keep her on the outside,” said Mayer.
Recently a battle for the lightweight world championship took place in New York. Ireland’s Katie Taylor emerged the winner against Belgium’s Delfine Persoon. It was an action-packed bludgeoning that saw Taylor survive Persoon’s last round onslaught.
“I thought Persoon edged Katie out in the end but would have been happy with a draw as well,” said Mayer of that pivotal fight to unify the lightweight division. “It was a win for women’s boxing.”
Mayer looks to face either Persoon or Taylor in the future, but they are not in her immediate plans. First, she wants a world title in the super featherweight division. There are a number of titleholders but so far attempts to lure them in the boxing ring have been ignored.
There are obvious reasons: nobody wants to face Mayer and her speed and power. In her last fight against Mexico’s very tough Yareli Larios, the blistering speed and head busting blows were in full effect. Once she figured out Larios style, she unloaded combinations and a full on attack that overwhelmed the Mexican fighter.
Mayer wants a world title now.
“I’m staying the course and going after these titles at 130 (pounds) which hopefully I will have started to capture by the end of the year,” Mayer says. “I will of course make my way up to 135 (lightweight division.”
The Southern California native has sighted her targets and charted a course. And as always, has resumed her no prisoners approach to life.
(Photo by JP Yim)