Alycia Baumgardner took the hard road to becoming a world champion.
She is now the holder of the WBC featherweight belt and on October 15th she fights WBO and IBF champion Mikaela Mayer in a rematch. Sky Sports on the historic Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall bill.
It’s a long way from where she started. When Baumgardner turned pro, she had to fit boxing around work and sell her own fight tickets, all just to keep her dream of a successful career going.
“Paying my opponents, I rarely get paid, there are times when I don’t even get paid to fight. But I’m like that, it’s not a crime, it’s not about the money, I’m just willing to go out there and fight. The money they will come,” she said Sky Sports.
“I had a small team that accepted me and I decided to be a player and not go to the next Olympics and in doing so my manager was very strict. It was like this is going to be difficult, a lot of people They don’t care about women’s boxing, but I’m like I’m going to prove all these people wrong.
“He also said that you will not be paid the way you think you should be. I’m like I’m going to prove everyone wrong. From the beginning I was selling tickets, I was selling tickets for $6,000, I was selling them. all my tickets are for people to come and see me.”
Baumgardner has suffered losses while building her career, dropping eight points in the eighth round to 9-1 Christina Linardatou in 2018.
“So I’ve been doing that since my first start, to the second, third, fourth. My fifth fight I took the challenge to fight a 9-1 fighter. I was hungry. I was confident in my ability that I was ready Baumgardner said that he lost the lead between him and two-time world champion Linardatou, so this is positive.
“I work hard at it and with this job I still have to work. I still have to work full-time. I’m a nursing home aide,” she said. “I was a server at one time. I was driving to work. I was driving from Ohio to Michigan every day, like two hours. I would drive, work, go back. But I decided. I used to do so. for a long time but I know my work will pay off in the end.
“You have to have a mindset of accepting yourself and understanding that you’re going into bad territory. That tells a story. It’s not just given a shot.”
She believes these experiences, including the loss, will improve her as a fighter. Baumgardner was furious with Mayer pointing out this flaw in her history.
“Losing doesn’t mean anything to fighters,” Baumgardner said. “It’s not really offensive [Mayer highlighting the defeat]. He is more than proud.
“She said I didn’t do anything in sports and I mentioned every woman who steps into this ring has done something for boxing, it doesn’t matter if you don’t have a platform, people. behind you you still risk your life all the time when you enter this ring and I do that, I talk in the ring and I bring boxing like every woman does.
Baumgardner came into this fight looking to show everything she could do. “I have a competitive spirit. I’m a competitor,” she said. “People still doubt me but that’s part of the sport.
“My mind is to win, my mind is to dominate and it will be lifted from my hand.
Winning this fight means everything.
All tickets purchased for the original Shields vs Marshall date remain valid until October 15. Remaining tickets can be purchased at boxxer.com.