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Alycia Baumgardner edges Mikaela Mayer by split decision to unify junior lightweight titles

Alycia Baumgardner (13-1, 7 KOs) is now one step closer to becoming undisputed champion after scoring a razor-thin split decision victory over Mikaela Mayer (17-1, 5 KOs) to unify the WBC, WBO, IBF and Ring Magazine junior lightweight titles Saturday evening at The O2 Arena.

After several months of trash talking, the two finally squared off in a historic night for women’s boxing. However, despite the heated exchanges outside of the ring, Baumgardner initiated the bout by calmly boxing from the outside, using her legs to move left and right when necessary and countering Mayer’s offense with short hooks and overhand rights around her guard.

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 15: Mikaela Mayer (L) and Alycia Baumgardner (R) exchange punches during their unified super featherweight championship fight at The 02 Arena on October15, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Robinson/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

In the fourth and fifth rounds, Mayer started to get her rhythm and landed more jabs and even landed a set of consecutive straight right hands. It was clear that the Olympian needed to increase the intensity of the fight in order to win some rounds. However, Baumgardner got her second wind and began landing more power shots in the later rounds, while Mayer landed more jabs and occasional right hands.

Baumgardner won with two scores of 96-95, while one judge saw Mayer the 97-93 victor. Without a doubt, the scorecards demonstrated just how close the fight was.

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 15: Alycia Baumgardner celebrates after defeating Mikaela Mayer, during their unified super featherweight championship fight at The 02 Arena on October 15, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Robinson/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

“I just want to first thank my lord, Jesus Christ, for blessing me and getting me through this moment,” Baumgardner said. “I worked my ass off to get here. Like I said before, my steps were ordained. I’ve claimed this. I’ve received it. I practiced this speech and what I was going to say.

“I landed the cleaner shots. The harder shots. I had her cut above her forehead. I was the harder puncher. I dug deep. That girl ain’t getting no rematch. I’m going after Choi [Hyun-Mi] like I said. Undisputed is what I claimed. It’s what I’m going to do.”

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 15: Mikaela Mayer after being defeated by Alycia Baumgardner, during their unified super featherweight championship fight at The 02 Arena on October 15, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Robinson/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Mayer said, “I’m really confident that I won that fight. She was defeated. I saw it in her eyes. She was tired. She knows she lost the fight. She was shocked by the decision. She got lucky. I think the crowd believes that I won that fight.

“I took control of the fight from the second round on, for sure. At the very least, I won seven rounds clearly. I felt like I had it. I hope that she gives me a rematch. I think I deserve it, and I feel that the fans wants to see it.”

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 15: Claressa Shields celebrates after defeating Savannah Marshall, during their undisputed middleweight championship fight at The 02 Arena on October 15, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Robinson/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Shields Defeats Marshall in Slugfest 

Claressa Shields is now a three-time undisputed champion, the first person to achieve such a feat in either men’s or women’s boxing. Shields defeated Savannah Marshall (12-1, 10 KOs) via unanimous decision to unify all the belts at middleweight in an action-packed slugfest.

Marshall’s plans were clear: overwhelm Shields, push her against the ropes and land power shots. But Shields, who possessed more speed and accuracy, countered Marshall’s constant pressure with rights and lefts that were thrown with all of her strength.

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 15: Savannah Marshall (L) and Claressa Shields (R) exchange punches during their undisputed middleweight championship fight at The 02 Arena on October 15, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Robinson/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Shields (13-0, 2 KOs) earned the win with scores of 96-94 and 97-93 2x, cards that demonstrated her superiority inside the ring.

“I bit down in every round,” Shields said. “In every round, it felt like she would hit me with a big shot, and I would hit her with a big shot. If she hit me to the body, I’d punch her to the body. But I know that I did the most work today and that I was winning with my inside combinations.”

In undercard action:

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 15: Timea Belik (L) and Lauren Price (R) exchange punches during their welterweight fight at The 02 Arena on October 15, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Robinson/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Welterweights:

Lauren Price (2-0, 1 KOs) scored a fourth-round technical knockout against Timea Belik (6-7, 2 KOs). Time of stoppage: 1:18.

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 15: Milena Koleva (L) and Caroline Dubois (R) exchange punches during their lightweight fight at The 02 Arena on October 15, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Robinson/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Lightweights:

Caroline Dubois (4-0, 3 KOs) retained her undefeated record via fifth-round TKO against Milena Koleva (10-15-1, 4 KOs). Time of stoppage: 1:53.

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 15: Karriss Artingstall (L) and Marina Sakharov (R) exchange punches during their featherweight fight at The 02 Arena on October15, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Robinson/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Featherweights: 

Karriss Artingstall (2-0) scored a decision win against Marina Sakharov (5-17-2, 3 KOs). Score: 60-54.

Credit: Top Rank Boxing 

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