Mikaela Mayer believes that she has finally found her ideal weight and that that will spell problems for IBF welterweight champion, Natasha Jonas.
Mayer is in London to promote her world title clash with Jonas which will take place in Liverpool on January 20th.
The former unified super featherweight champion also won the WBC interim title at lightweight but she will step into the ring as a welterweight for the first time when she takes on Jonas. Rather than worrying about how the extra weight will affect her, Mayer is wondering how she ever managed without it.
Jonas has been through a similar epiphany herself. In 2022 she jumped up from lightweight to the junior middleweight division – although she has never weighed in over 150lbs – and hoovered up three world title belts within nine months.
A happy fighter is a dangerous fighter and Mayer feels like being able to concentrate on technique and tactics rather than losing weight has made her a different animal.
“I honestly didn’t realize the toll it was having on my body to cut so much weight,” she told Andy Scott on Sky Sports. “I thought it was just being a tough fighter and hard camps but feeling how I felt in this last camp, this current camp and the camp before, I’m really enjoying boxing again. It’s so much more fun just feeling good and strong and healthy every day.
“I’m really excited about this weight. I know it’s going to take time to reverse what I’ve done in the past because I’ve held my body down at 130lbs for so long but I’m working on doing everything I can so that I’m a strong, competitive 147lber.”
Britain has real strength in depth at welterweight. Jonas holds the IBF title but there are a group of young, hungry fighters also vying for success. Sandy Ryan is the WBO champion whilst Olympic gold medalist, Lauren Price, and dangerous European champion, Dee Allen, will also be hunting title shots in 2024. The fight with Jonas will be Mayer’s fourth consecutive appearance in the UK and whilst she is aware that a good proportion of her future is likely to be spent on these shores.
The new breed may be snapping at her heels but Mayer is solely focused on beating her fellow Olympian, Jonas, somebody she respects as a fellow trailblazer for women’s boxing.
“I don’t think it’s our style to go at each other and disrespect each other in any way. We don’t have that type of rivalry really. I think that our rivalry is that we both have very extensive amateur careers and we’ve both done a lot in the sport as pros in this era of women’s boxing as pioneers and we want to test ourselves against each other.
“I’m at 147 now, she has a belt and I believe I belong with a belt back round my waist so I wanna challenge the best in my division and right now that’s her. I think it’s gonna be a great fight.
“It’s a fight that we made before the managers made it. We looked at each other and talked about it on social media and face to face and both said we wanted the fight. When you get two fighters who want to make a fight, this is what happens. No excuses, it gets done.”