Mikaela Mayer will return to the ring this Saturday in Manchester, England, with the former 130 lb titleholder set for what is officially a 140 lb fight, but with her eyes set on going up even further.
Specifically, Mayer (18-1, 5 KO) says she’s taking aim at current IBF welterweight titlist Natasha Jonas.
“Natasha Jonas is at the top of my list right now, top of my hit list. I have a ton of respect for her, she’s a great champion, she’s done a lot for the sport,” Mayer said at an open workout.
“I think we’re both at the time in our careers where we’re looking for those big fights. I’d love to get that fight done, hopefully next.”
The 39-year-old Jonas (14-2-1, 9 KO) fell short in title bids at 130 and 135 back in 2020-21, going to a controversial draw with Terri Harper and then a loss to Katie Taylor, respectively, but has found success after moving up. She first won three world titles at 154 lbs, then moved down in July to beat Kandi Wyatt for the vacant IBF belt at 147.
Mayer, 33, lost a close and debated decision against Alycia Baumgardner that fully unified the 130 lb division in Oct. 2022, and moved up to 135 in April, beating Lucy Wildheart for the interim WBC title.
But 135 and even 140 do not seem to be Mayer’s goal, and she’s said recently that she believes 147 is about to become a hot division for women’s boxing, with 140 lb undisputed champion Chantelle Cameron a name likely to move up in weight after her November rematch with Katie Taylor.
Mikaela is taking the move in steps, with no major rush to fully fight at 147 as she moves up in weight. She’ll face Silvia Bortot (11-2-1, 3 KO), a 38-year-old Italian who is, being frank, not expected to present much challenge in Manchester.
“I feel great (at the weight). This is a learning process for me because I’m going up. I felt I needed to go up for a long time,” Mayer said.
“Now it’s time for me to take what I’ve been training in the gym and put it into the ring. It’s a big difference. You can do things in the gym, but doing it on fight night is a whole other skill. I always want to show out and show some things that I’ve been working on.”