Alycia Baumgardner: Undisputed with options
Alycia Baumgardner is now the undisputed super-featherweight champion after overcoming Elhem Mekhaled at Madison Square Garden.
Co-headlining the iconic New York City venue on another huge night for women’s boxing, Baumgardner followed up her high-profile victory over rival Mikaela Mayer last year to reign as queen of the division.
Now holding all four of the major world titles within her weight class, she sits atop the throne as one of the sport’s leading pound-for-pound fighters.
It's been a career-elevating two years for 'The Bomb', who upset the odds to become a world champion then followed it up with unification and now undisputed victories.
Wins over Terri Harper, Mayer and, most recently, Mekhaled, have seen her shoot to superstardom in the women's game.
Now recognised as one of the leading pound-for-pound female fighters on the planet, many potential options have opened up for her and even more prosperous match-ups lie ahead.
Worked to the top of her sport
A first defeat to Christina Linardatou in her seventh career fight back in 2018 did nothing to derail Baumgardner's belief and drive towards becoming a world champion.
She returned the following year to kickstart her winning ways and begin what would ultimately become a historic run to the top of the sport.
While lockdown also threatened to delay momentum in her overall goal, the Detroit-based fighter carried on winning in style and set herself up for a crack at world honours.
In 2021, against the defending champion Terri Harper in her own backyard, Baumgardner had travelled all the way to Sheffield, England, in her pursuit of the gold.
It paid off, as she stunned Harper with a devastating knockout victory to become the super-featherweight world champion and realise her dream.
Baumgardner's success across the pond continued with a first title defence triumph over Edith Soledad Matthysse on another massive card in Manchester, England.
🔥 @AlyciaMBaum is in the building— BOXRAW (@BOXRAW) October 15, 2022
🎥 @trboxing #MayerBaumgardner
This set up the highly-awaited showdown against rival Mikaela Mayer, as they engaged in a war of words in the build-up.
A postponement due to the Queen's death in England only built up the anticipation for this unification clash, on the undercard of the blockbuster main event of Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall.
But it was Baumgardner who came away with her hand raised on a historic night for women's boxing to end 2022, before kicking off her 2023 by becoming undisputed queen of the division.
What's next for Alycia Baumgardner?
After claiming all four of the major belts by beating a tough challenger in Mekhaled, 'The Bomb' was quick to call for only the biggest fights next.
"We want the big fights," Baumgardner declared in the ring with all four titles draped around her.
"We want the mega-fights. We want Katie Taylor, we want those mega-fights.
"I want that challenge, I want to challenge myself. That’s the only way I can know how good I am and how I can be better."
A showdown with the aforementioned Katie Taylor would represent another huge event for women's boxing, with Baumgardner having to move up in weight to take on such a challenge.
But, Taylor must first get past Amanda Serrano in their upcoming Dublin rematch on May 20th first, before that match-up could be agreed.
The rematch with Mayer is another prosperous option on the cards, with the bad blood between the pair even more intense since their initial meeting.
"Mikaela came here for a reason. I hope she learned something and knows that I’m coming for that ass."
"I’ll knock her the fuck out, look at her," Baumgardner continued, taking aim at Mayer who was sat at ringside in New York City.
Whichever path Baumgardner opts for next will undoubtedly bring even more eyes to women's boxing though, as she continues to ascend to new heights in her ever-growing career.
Header image: Matchroom Boxing