Women’s boxing is thriving in its undisputed era and Alycia Baumgardner wants to be a part of it.
Baumgardner added the WBO and IBF belts to her WBC super-featherweight crown when she prevailed in a bitter grudge match against Mikaela Mayer last month.
That was the co-main event alongside Claressa Shields’ thrilling showdown with Savannah Marshall for the undisputed super-middleweight title in London.
Katie Taylor defended the four major lightweight belts with a unanimous decision win over Karen Elizabeth Carabajal at Wembley Arena last weekend and on Saturday, a division up at super-lightweight, WBC and IBF champion Chantelle Cameron will face Jessica McCaskill with the vacant WBA and WBO straps also on the line in Abu Dhabi.
MORE: What’s next for Katie Taylor? Amanda Serrano rematch among many options for undisputed champion after Karen Carabajal fight
“I like it, I think it’s great because you have two fighters who want to win,” Baumgardner told The Sporting News during a fight week launch event on Yas Island. “You have an aggressor, you have someone who keeps coming forward. That’s Jessica.
“Then you have Chantelle, who’s a little more technical. She can box, I think her skills are going to help her in this fight. But I see it as a 50/50 fight.”
After decades of politicking, confusion and an ever-increasing number of belts, the trend for undisputed champions in women’s boxing is a key factor in the sport’s burgeoning mainstream reputation.
In the UK alone, two million viewers tuned in to Sky Sports to watch Shields vs. Marshall and Baumgardner’s win over Mayer. The 28-year-old American wants to join the club and has Korea’s undefeated WBA champion Choi Hyun-mi in her sights.
Prestige Worldwide💕✌🏾 pic.twitter.com/o4KhOm0cQG
— Alycia Baumgardner (@alyciambaum) November 2, 2022
“Absolutely, we want to make that fight. We want to be undisputed,” she said. “We need this fight for boxing and for women’s boxing.
“This year has been great for women and next year will even top that.
“I’m very close. I’m continuing to work hard, follow through with everything that I’ve said and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”
After enjoying title wins over Terri Harper and Mayer in the UK, Baumgardner is keen for a US homecoming against Choi. It would be a triumphant return but she is also willing to get on the road again if that is what is required to achieve her goal.
“I do [want to take it back to the USA] but anywhere we can make the fight, as long as that fight is happening, I’ll take it,” she said.
Baumgardner watched and enjoyed Taylor’s display against Carabajal and, as the breakout star of the division below, she now finds herself in the conversation for one of the biggest fights in boxing if a rematch between the Irish icon and Amanda Serrano does not take place.
Presented with the hypothetical of taking on Taylor in front of 80,000 fans at Dublin’s Croke Park, Baumgardner replied: “I fancy that. I can do that, for sure.”
The focus on undisputed, whether in her own division or with a blockbuster shot at Taylor, means Baumgardner is ready to move on from Mayer for now.
A tempestuous build-up to that fight and the razor-thin split decision after the final bell means a Mayer rematch is likely to remain on the table. The champion seems happy to leave it there until it suits her.
“Right now I’m just focused on fighting Choi,” she added. “I think Mikaela needs to work on building herself back up. I know what I’m doing, I know where I’m headed.”