Mayer v Joseph
While serving as the ESPN Boxing telecast main event, highly touted junior lightweight boxer Mikaela Mayer (13-0, 5 KO’s) defeated Helen Joseph (18-5-2, 10 KO’s) by way of unanimous decision. The night was an unexpected upgrade for Mayer, who had planned on being in the co-main event. As a bonus, this event also marked the first time two women would headline a Top Rank card.
Originally, WBO junior lightweight champion Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring (21-2, 10 KO’s) was supposed to face Jonathan Oquendo (31-6, 19 KO’s), but then Herring was flagged for having COVID-19. It was the second consecutive time that this happened to the WBO champ. Similarly, the dust-up that Mayer fought in was actually a rescheduled bout for her as well. The Californian boxer was initially supposed to fight on June 9, but was also flagged for COVID-19.
Unlike Herring though, Mayer was able to make it to the ring on her second attempt. Although, she still would have to fight without her lead trainer Al Mitchel.
TOO MUCH TO HANDLE
Once in the ring, Mayer set the pace right from the start by utilizing her feet, quick combinations and a consistent jab. In response, her Nigerian foe crouched low and stalked her behind a bobbing head and wide hooks. Joseph’s game was to get to the inside. Yet, for the better part of it, Mayer kept her on the outside.
Over the course of the first five rounds, the bout repeated this generic template. The overtly slower Joseph fruitlessly chased Mayer around the ring and got routinely picked off in the process. The first deviation from this pattern came in the sixth.
It was then, for the first time, that Mayer was not so light on her feet, which allowed Joseph the opportunity to land numerous body shots throughout the round. She probably still did not take the period, but it was the best one for the Nigerian thus far.
Joseph would enjoy that unusual success for a round or so, but by the eighth, Mayer resumed full control. Mayer was back on her useful wheels and landing punches in short bursts. While moving was a big part of her strategy, Mayer was also muscling the tiring Joseph around on the inside from time to time.
At the conclusion of ten rounds, Mayer had put in a solid performance that saw her use a great deal of tools against a tough but one-dimensional opponent.
By: Bakari Simpson