Mikaela Mayer | From Musical Rockstar To Boxing Champ

The world of women’s sports has faced several challenges hampering its growth. This situation is more obvious when concerning boxing. This is partly due to athletic commissioners’ unwillingness to issue licences to female boxers.

Surprisingly, women’s boxing has existed for as long as men’s boxing, and some notable names include boxers like Claressa Shields, Regina Halmich, Laila Ali, and Lucia Rijker. Despite the challenges women’s boxing faces, the sport itself has been subject to much controversy and didn’t get Olympic status until the London 2012 games. 

Throughout the sport’s history, there has been none like the charismatic and new IBF and WBO super-featherweight champion, Mikaela Meyer. Mikaela Mayer is one of the world’s leading female fighters, and her win over Hamadouche made news as one of the top three fights last year in both men’s and women’s boxing. This also made her one of the sports betting favourites.

This article looks at the young boxer’s journey and transition from a musical rockstar. 

Who is Mikaela Joslin Mayer?

Born Mikaela Joslin Mayer, the 31-year-old American champion, grew up as a free-range child, choosing her own path with every chance she had. Her foray into music started at age 10 when she started playing music with her best friend. A falling out between these two friends forced Mikaela to put an ad on Craig’s list, which reinvigorated her music journey. 

She was 12, getting pitched by an all-girl metal band who thought she was older because her piercings, light brown hair, and black tips made her look the part. She was part of her new Lia-Fail band until their second U.S. tour when her boyfriend at the time kept pestering her about being away for that long. Mikaela realised her boyfriend was up to no good and broke up with her shortly after quitting. 

But the band and party culture never left her until she was 17. From about age 15, Mikaela’s dad gained custody of her, away from her alcohol and drug troubled mother. Her dad, a busy man, was always about his business, leaving no one to supervise Mikaela and her two sisters through school. 

As rebellious as she was, Mikaela would skip school and hang out with her new boyfriend doing what they wanted. Her attitude got her transferred from her original high school to another, which was more like a camp for the bad kids. That was when she got her turn around, after realising she needed to withdraw from her pointless path and be good at something. Enter boxing.

Early Days of Boxing

Boxing started as an escape to move from her troubled teen days. Her supportive father gave her the green light to help her set up with a Muay Thai coach. Mikaela’s first few matches resulting in losses got her dad asking about a better option, and Al Mitchell’s Michigan program came just in time. Al Mitchell’s two-time Olympic coach status was not the only good thing about the program. It offered Mikaela a chance to train and school simultaneously. 

Mitchell had lost his leading professional boxer, Vernon Forrest, who was murdered in 2009. The coach was grieving and the program was losing funding; however, women’s boxing had been approved for the Olympics, so it was crunch time for Mikaela. According to Mikaela, she was very focused on her boxing career, and coach Al was the right person to help her with her ambition to become the best female fighter in the world, as coach Al revealed. 

Her move from music to boxing changed her perspective on success. But the coach was instrumental in her brilliance as a boxer. According to her, she owes all her success to Al Mitchel. However, the coach revealed that Mikaela’s success results from her appetite for hard work and success. She stayed with the coach for about four years and trained for the 2016 Olympics. As the Olympics demanded, she pulled away from the coach after winning the trials and making the team. Mikaela got the coach’s initials tattooed on her hands as a tribute to him.

Championships

Mikaela’s unified win against Maiva Hamadouche in Las Vegas is one of the nights seasoned boxing fans will always remember. Before the fight, the former’s record was (16-0, 5KO) while Hamadouche’s (22-2, 18KO) looked stellar, giving Mikaela a battle of her life. However, the night saw Mikaela become a champion. 

The three judges scored the match 98-92, 99-91, and 100-90, respectively, for Mayer. Mayer maintained her rhythm and began bossing the fight from the middle rounds after a body attack, slowing Hamadouche’s pace and punches. The night was one of the biggest surprises in the night of women’s boxing. But as Mikaela will tell the Guardian in an interview to celebrate her victory, ‘I am used to surprises.’ 

Current and Future Prospects

There’s no denying that Mikaela uses an unconventional approach indulging in practices like doing manicures and pedicures before stepping into any ring. She has challenged misconceptions about women’s boxing.

Currently, she is preparing to defend her titles against Jennifer Han, who lost to Katie Taylor in September. Taylor is now the undisputed lightweight champion. Mikaela and Amanda Serrano are set to headline what will become the richest and biggest fight in women’s boxing at the Madison Square Garden on April 30. 

Mikaela Mayer sharing her thoughts about her opponents revealed that Katie Taylor is a very defensive opponent who fights everybody the same way. As she prepares for her next biggest milestone, she is excited to show her boxing IQ, hoping to beat Taylor with a winning strategy.