Boxing is having a remarkably good year for title unifications. While boxing’s four-belt era is usually a strange and fractured affair, 2022 has seen plenty of champions elect to fight each other. Errol Spence Jr, Devin Haney, Artur Beterbiev, Shakur Stevenson and Jermell Charlo are just a few of the fighters to have vanquished their fellow title-holders this year. Now it looks like two huge unification fights will land on the same night, as Savannah Marshall’s undisputed title grudge match with Claressa Shields is set to be joined by Alycia Baumgardner’s bout against Mikaela Mayer. The scheduled date is 10th September at the O2 Arena as London prepares to play host to what already looks like the potential card of the year.
Marshall and Shields’ clash has all the ingredients one looks for in elite level boxing. Both are unbeaten world champions with box office value and pedigree in abundance. The bout will crown an undisputed middleweight champion, something that always sets a boxing fan’s pulse racing.
The pair also share a personal grudge going back to when the ‘Silent Assassin’ defeated ‘The GWOAT’ in the amateurs. Several tense, insult-laden face-offs have taken place between the pair around the UK. The simmering tensions are clearer and clearer with every gritted-teeth verbal broadside the pair have fired at each other. Make no mistake, this bout has some serious needle behind it.
Combining this bout with one of the quality of Alycia Baumgardner vs Mikaela Mayer is a stroke of genius. The fight will see all but one of the super featherweight titles unified. Ohio native Baumgardner has made the UK her home for her last two bouts. ‘The Bomb’ shocked British fight-goers when she detonated Terri Harper’s WBC title reign in Sheffield last year. Baumgardner followed that stunning stoppage victory with a unanimous decision win over Edith Soledad Matthysse in Manchester back in April.
Mayer will be making her UK debut, after amassing an impressive 17-0 record Stateside. Britain has become a hotbed of women’s boxing in recent years and it seems only appropriate that fans on these shores get to witness the Olympian do her thing. She has vanquished the likes of Jennifer Han and Maiva Hamadouche in her recent bouts, and comes into this fight in formidable form.
This past April saw women’s boxing reach the stratosphere when a packed Madison Square Garden witnessed Katie Taylor’s instant classic win over Amanda Serrano. Rightfully billed as the biggest women’s boxing match of all-time, such a watershed can go one of two ways. Either it acts as a lightning rod that sustains the scene for years to come, or it is an albatross that can never be topped. With cards like this incredible O2 double-header being staged, it is clear that the former is true. Women’s boxing is in rude health and is regularly staging the most thrilling fights in the sport as a whole. Make sure you’re watching in September, there won’t be many better cards this year.
*18+ | BeGambleAware | Odds Subject To Change