Alycia Baumgardner Eyes Katie Taylor’s Throne at 135
Reigning undisputed junior lightweight Alycia “The Bomb” Baumgardner (14-1, 7 KOs) currently sits on top of the mountain at 130 pounds. Now it seems she has visions of doing the same thing at 135, with a keen eye on fighting the queen of the lightweight division, Katie Taylor (22-1, 6 KOs), and sees a fighter who is possibly a wounded warrior.
NOT THE SAME?
Providing ringside commentary for DAZN, Baumgardner was in attendance for Taylor’s losing effort to undisputed junior welterweight champion Chantelle Cameron (18-0, 8 KOs) on May 20. Following that contest, The Bomb sat down with the news outlet Women’s Fight News. In assessing Taylor’s performance, the junior lightweight champion noticed something was off about the lightweight champion.
“I saw a different Katie . . . in her movement, in her footwork, in her punches . . . is she declining because of weight? Is it preparation? . . . As a fighter, we look at those things.”
Taylor has established herself as one of the best fighters in the sport. She is a future first-ballot Hall of Famer. But she’s also 35 years old and has been in some wars during her career. Was her loss to Cameron the byproduct of facing a naturally bigger and stronger woman? Or, is Taylor showing signs of deterioration?
KNOWING WHAT SHE WANTS
Baumgardner’s last outing was in February 2023 when she defeated Elhem Mekhaled to become the undisputed champion. While Baumgardner has said she makes 130 comfortably, she has the frame to go up in weight and fight at 135. Having seen Taylor live, Baumgardner may see signs of slippage in Taylor. Baumgardner said she would fight her in a heartbeat.
“Yes, 135, what’s up? . . . That’s what we’d love to do. Moving up to 135, challenging Katie Taylor.”
However, a fight with Taylor will not happen anytime soon. Up next for The Bomb is a July 15 rematch against Christina Linardatou, the only woman to have defeated her as a pro. Taylor is likely to fight a rematch against Cameron in the fall.
But long term, a showdown between Taylor and Baumgardner is very makeable. The ladies are promoted by Eddie Hearn. The Chairman of Matchroom has deeply invested in women’s boxing and knows a big fight when he sees it. Whether Taylor is slowing down or not, she’s still undisputed at 135 and is still a very marketable fighter. It would be no surprise if Hearn already has an eye on staging that matchup at some point in 2024. Baumgardner sees Taylor as vulnerable and ready to be taken.
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