Mikaela Mayer Makes History, Takes Care Of Helen Joseph

Founded in 1966, Top Rank has seen some legendary fights. The promotion in its current format with ESPN never had a woman main event its programming, until now. Olympic athlete Mikaela Mayer took advantage of the opportunity put in front of her, and then some.

As a result of Jamel Herring testing positive twice for COVID-19, it was Mayer’s turn to shine. Inside the MGM Grand Conference Center, Mayer (13-0) outstruck Helen Joseph (17-5-2), who was her toughest competition to date. Mayer would win via unanimous decision (99-91, 100-90, 100-90), potentially securing her a world title opportunity.

“Bob said, ‘Great fight,’ and that the next one will be for the title,” Mayer said. “We’ve been trying to get a world title fight for a while now. I said, ‘Don’t let Eddie Hearn {outbid} us.’”

It was over 200 days since Mayer fought in the ring. With altitude training a big factor, Mayer attempted to use her skills to do the talking. After testing positive for COVID-19 a few weeks ago, it took us a while to see what she could do with all that time off. She would end up using the jab to her advantage as well as combination shots. An early right uppercut set the pace for the first round, where Mayer landed 21 shots of 61 thrown, while Joseph only landed eight.

A key factor in the fight was Mayer ducking and digging in the shoulder when Joseph would crouch and go in for the attack. She also used her long reach to avoid several key shots. Mayer would use her jabs in round three to halt any momentum Joseph would try and get. Joseph would continue to come forward towards Mayer, which allowed the latter to land combination shots as well as chase Joseph around the ring.

By round six, Mayer would shoot to the side and land a left hook that would slow Joseph down. Joseph would find some momentum by utilizing her hooks, but her lack of commitment to it was her downfall. Mayer would end up hitting 17 power punches in the round, as she would continue to land shots to the face. She would hit multiple four-punch combinations that would continue to push back Joseph.

By round nine, Mayer landed 156 punches. She would end up sitting down and landed several key shots. Leaning in, Mayer forced Joseph’s corner to call her out for fighting underwater. Mayer would land one big right in the tenth that pushed Joseph back, effectively calling the fight right then and there.

According to CompuBox, Mayer landed 195 of 538 punches, while Joseph landed 86 of 377.

Mayer has now won four fights since the start of 2019. She was fighting without head trainer Al Mitchell, who was at home as a result of COVID-19.

Joseph is on a two-fight losing streak and is now 2-2-1 in her last five. She faced three former world champions before this fight, and last competed against Delfine Persoon in November.

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