WBO/IBF junior lightweight world champion Mikaela Mayer is staying where it all began. Mayer, a 2016 Olympian and one of female boxing’s premier pound-for-pound fighters, has signed a multi-year contract extension with Top Rank.
Mayer (16-0, 5 KOs) defends her world titles Saturday evening against Jennifer Han at Orange County Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, California (ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+, 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT).
“Mikaela has accomplished so much since making her professional debut in 2017, and she has only scratched the surface,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “She is a role model for young women in the sport and a tremendous talent. I believe she is well on her way to becoming boxing’s pound-for-pound queen, and she will be involved in the sport’s biggest events for years to come.”
Mayer said, “This contract represents everything I have been working for since I stepped foot in a gym 14 years ago. It’s a dream contract. A contract that women’s boxing has yet to see and proof that we are a powerful force in the sport of boxing and here to stay. I have always enjoyed working with Top Rank, and when I first signed with them five years ago, I knew I had a lot to prove. Every time I stepped into that ring, I fought to show the boxing world that I belonged and that women belonged. This contract tells me that I accomplished that goal. I plan on continuing that mindset for the next several years as we knock down even more barriers and create an even greater legacy.”
“Mikaela’s extension with Top Rank reflects her unique talent and a promoter’s vision in growing women’s boxing,” said George Ruiz, Mayer’s manager. “The rapid rise of women’s boxing over the last few years has been accelerated by Top Rank providing Mikaela with a platform to showcase her skills in the world’s biggest venues and in front of the biggest audiences as the main event on live ESPN broadcasts. She will now be one of boxing’s best-paid athletes. We can think of no better promoter and partner than Top Rank for Mikaela’s next phase as a world champion.”
Mayer entered the pro ranks following the 2016 Rio Olympics, becoming the first female to sign a pro contract with Top Rank in nearly two decades. As female boxing experienced a renaissance, Mayer became one of the sport’s leading figures. In July 2020, her fight against Helen Joseph was the first female main event since the revamped Top Rank on ESPN series premiered in 2017. Three months later, she shut out longtime champion Ewa Brodnicka to capture the WBO junior lightweight world title. Mayer had a banner 2021, dominating two-weight world champion Erica Farias in June and then outlasting Maiva Hamadouche last November to unify the WBO and IBF world titles in a Fight of the Year contender.
Mayer is currently ranked No. 5 on the ESPN.com pound-for-pound rankings.
Credit: Top Rank Boxing