Mikaela Mayer: Depression and acceptance – how American fighter dealt with first pro loss

Mikaela Mayer held in her emotions for a while after losing her debut match as a professional. She was in the shadows, backstage at the O2 Arena in London, reeling. Mayer had just suffered losses to Alycia Baumgardner, her most vehement rival, for the IBF and WBO super-featherweight world titles. She said, “The second I walked away from it, like the mob, I just started weeping.” “You want to wake up and go back in time, but you can’t. You can’t undo anything; this choice is in the past.

“You can’t watch the fight again and have a different perspective. Nothing can be done; everything has ended. Since her days as an amateur in 2017, Mayer had never lost. As a professional, she had a perfect 17-0 record when Baumgardner entered the ring. It was a close battle Mayer eventually managed to seize the upper hand in the second half.

The first scorecard read out was 97-93 for Mayer; Baumgardner received a score of 96-95 from the other two judges. I immediately realized they were going to defraud me when they announced that second score for her, Mayer claimed.

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The 32-year-old woman was equally bewildered and enraged. Mayer’s PR advised her to stay in the fight, and she vaguely recalls Baumgardner approaching her to congratulate her. But everything is still hazy. The American remarked, “I’d never been in that situation before so I wasn’t sure exactly how to approach it.

That evening, Mayer returned to her hotel with her close friend Ginny Fuchs. Fuchs, a fellow boxer, had triumphed in her match. They “simply sat there,” ordered pizza, and popped open a bottle of wine.

Then, Mayer was in mourning. She and her countryman Baumgardner, 28, had been at odds for months before to the fight. They were both extraordinarily talented, but they had a history of openly disliking one another. Mayer returned to the United States but was upset because of the intense rivalry. She said, “You believe that your life and your stories are now theirs. “That they’ll continue to achieve everything you’ve wished for.

“Another possibility is that everything mentioned during the trash talk was accurate and everything I said was incorrect. “Every ten minutes of the day, my heart descends to my toes as a result of the scenarios that run through my thoughts constantly. How am I going to get through this for another day?

The following three weeks were spent by Mayer riding this rollercoaster. She questioned not only herself but also her future. “I used to wonder how I would gather myself for a new training camp the moment I lost or if I ever lost. How would I continue?” Added she.

However, Mayer eventually started to think coherently. She still had the backing of her partner, Top Rank, her promoters, and Al Mitchell, her trainer. She claimed, “The despair starts right away.” When you believe something won’t go away, you simply begin to adapt. Mayer acknowledged that she still had a fire to put out.

The Californian claimed, “I’ve always wanted to put on the greatest bouts possible, and this time I came out on the short end of it. “But the result remains the same. I still want to stage the largest battles.

“I continue to believe that is crucial, and I cannot continue to preach it. I can’t just stand there and be afraid when it’s time for me to act, believe, and live the talk. “I’m confident that when I wake up, I will be happy that it did. I wouldn’t be in the position I am today if it hadn’t happened. It all works out in the end, and it’s not the outcome I anticipated.”

Mayer then gave her team the order to locate her next opponent, and they set their sights on either Katie Taylor, the undisputed lightweight champion of Ireland, or Delfine Persoon, the best fighter in Belgium. She wants to fight Baumgardner again, but it doesn’t appear likely right now because Baumgardner’s opponent is trying to get a free fight with Hyun Mi Choi, the WBA champion from South Korea.

The Claressa Shields-Baumgardner fight served as the main support for Savannah Marshall’s undisputed middleweight victory over Shields. For the first time at the O2 Arena and on an all-female card, respectively, in the UK.  The broadcaster’s largest-ever audience for a live women’s sports event, according to Sky Sports, watched the fight night with two million viewers.

Mayer now has a completely new perspective on their interaction. It was both the pinnacle and the apex of her professional life, she mused. “In such a short period, I earned the greatest respect, appreciation, eyes, and views that I have ever received, from the lowest of the low on the biggest platform.

“My is what I always imagined and hoped for when I went out on this goal, which everyone told me I was crazy to pursue. “It can’t be just one loss that destroys and ends your entire career. “I think that applies to us women. I don’t think it necessarily applies to men, so congratulations to us and the sport we invented.

Mayer views their competition as a “once in a lifetime battle,” and thinks she may face Baumgardner three times, if not more, in her career. She feels that women’s boxing can set examples for the future of the sport and is prepared to keep taking the toughest matches.

Mayer continued, “I simply want to keep setting a new tone for boxing and being a part of that, so that’s why I had to crawl out of my hole. “I believe that the new era of women’s boxing will establish standards for the sport’s conduct. “The only explanation is that we didn’t have the luxury of declining the big fights and picking them while relaxing on our million-dollar payday.

“To get respect, we had to put our lives on the line and engage in brutal combat. “Look, that was successful. The undisputed fights between myself and Baumgardner, Taylor-Serrano, Marshall-Shields, and all the others. “So many of us did it; it wasn’t just one or two of us. We came together to stand up for what we stand for.