Mayer embracing newfound happiness at 147lbs ahead of Jonas title tilt

Former WBO super-featherweight champion Mikaela Mayer is just one of a seemingly handful of American talents who has risen to prominence with the increasing popularity of female boxing. 

However, despite her successes Mayer, 19-1 (5 KOs) returns to the UK for the fourth consecutive time having made her UK debut in October 2022 on the history-making all-female card at London’s 02 Arena, where she lost a controversial decision to Alycia Baumgardner in an undisputed title fight. 

Mayer has become a fixture on UK shores, plotting her next steps, and she now meets Natasha Jonas (14-2-1, 9KOs) in Liverpool on Saturday, with Jonas defending her IBF world welterweight title. 

Jonas has the lion’s share of the limelight, defending her world title in her home city, but Mayer is more than ready to play her part.

“This is a big fight; you definitely have that big fight feel, but these are the fights that I want to be in,” Mayer told Sky Sports.

“I want the name Natasha Jonas; I want to be in her hometown; I want to be in a huge arena like the M&S Bank Arena. I want the spotlight because I feel like that brings out the best in me.”

If successful, Mayer revealed that there is a mandatory rematch clause in the fight agreement should she dethrone her fellow former Olympian. 

“It [opens the door] of a rematch [if Mayer defeats Jonas], contractually, so there is that, but [it’s] one fight at a time,” continued Mayer. 

“I have got to beat Natasha Jonas twice. That is my main focus.”

Mayer began her career at super-featherweight and has fought in the lightweight and super-lightweight divisions in as many fights. She believes her transition to 147lbs allows her to be more comfortable with her 130lbs days are over. 

 “I am a lot more natural at this weight,” Mayer explained. “I think a lot of people are taken aback by how big I look, but what they don’t understand is it took a big toll on my body to keep cutting down to an unnatural weight at 130.

“Cutting all the way down and fluctuating in between and having such an extreme, that does a lot to the body and the hormones.

“This is the first time I have allowed myself to have that weight on and build muscle.”

The stresses and pressures of no longer having to drop down have had a positive effect on Mayer, who is excited to demonstrate the improvements in her performance as a result.

“This is the best I have ever felt, and we are close to the weight already,” she said in fight week. “I am just excited to get in the ring and show what the new weight does to me. I am an athlete and this is my body, and I know my body well. I know I have been doing everything right.”

However, the most positive changes that Mayer has discovered upon embarking on her new weight-class adventures are those of a personal, well-being nature, which, in her opinion, makes her a better fighter. 

“I think clearer, I am happier, I am more confident,” she said. “Trust me, I am a better fighter for it.”