Mikaela Mayer Has Questions About Top Rank’s COVID-19 Testing
Everything was set for the return of former Olympian Mikaela Mayer. Out of action since October 2019, Mayer (12-0) had her gloves on and was ready to go. She was then taken off of Top Rank’s return to action this Tuesday, June 9, something she believes was unfair.
The NABF Super-Featherweight Champion ended up telling ESPN that she was tested for COVID-19 antibodies and COVID-19. This was mandatory per the Nevada Athletic Commission, as Top Rank was doing everything it could to be safe. The antibody test came back positive while the nasal swab test came back negative. She became the first active boxer set to compete to test positive, something that through her off.
Only one other person was left off the card as a result of Mayer’s test. Kay Koroma, Shakur Stevenson’s head trainer, was around Mayer and was taken off the card as a precaution. Mayer believes that another test would have been something that could have helped her cause.
“I’m beyond upset and disappointed,” Mayer stated to ESPN. “But what’s done is done. I’m just a little frustrated because I really feel like if I had another test, if I could retest, if that was in the protocol, and I understand it wasn’t, can’t rewrite the rules on the spot, but if I did have an opportunity to take another test I believe I would have been cleared.”
Taking another test has been a regular with the UFC, who have been back in action for weeks. The promotion did so while in Florida and have continued to do it while in Las Vegas.
Mayer was supposed to fight Melissa Hernandez inside the Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden in March. The fight and card it was on became one of the first New York events to be postponed by the coronavirus. Her return fight was supposed to be against battle-tested Helen Joseph in a non-title affair. The frustrations coming from this has resulted in Mayer looking to things out for herself. She took a nasal swab test on Tuesday and expects results from it by the end of the week.
In an Instagram post, Mayer said she was asymptomatic, but understood what needed to be done. Seeing how there may be confusion on both sides, Mayer is now curious.
“This is still new, we don’t know a lot about it and I just think having such a cutthroat policy, like one positive test and you’re done, is a little harsh,” Mayer went on to say. “Considering we don’t have all the information and there has obviously been a handful of false positives in the past.”
“I do believe it was a false positive, and I guess there is a chance that it wasn’t, but if I have the antibodies I really believe it was. So I really wanted to take another test on my own so I can get this cleared up and I get back into training because I want to fight.”
This situation feels similar to UFC star Ian Heinisch. He was almost taken off UFC 250 this past weekend following a positive test from his coach. A retest saw him have a false positive test, allowing Heinisch and his coach to continue with their normal duties.
The hope is that Mayer can return by July if everything was to clear up. Top Rank is looking to continue to hold events in Las Vegas over the next few months.
“I’m hoping to continue the momentum I already have,” said Mayer. “I’m in great shape, two hard camps back-to-back, but that means getting my test back in a couple days, clearing myself and going right back into camp.”