Alycia Baumgardner will put her rivalry with Mikaela Mayer on hold while she pursues the undisputed super-featherweight title.
Baumgardner unified the WBC, IBF and WBO world titles when she outpointed Mayer in October on a split decision.
Their rivalry had intensified in the build-up to the fight and remained just as bitter afterwards, with Mayer insisting the points verdict should have gone her way.
“I dominated that girl from round one to round 10,” Baumgardner told Sky Sports. “The judges had it right and that’s what we go off, we grabbed the win and keep on pushing.
“To beat Mikaela Mayer was probably the best victory I’ve ever had and it was awesome because this was a women’s movement – something that took place at the O2 arena, women were headlining the card, we were able to sell out and really just put women’s boxing on the map.
“We don’t ponder on: ‘Could have done this, could have done that.’ I won, I became the unified champion of the world and now I can fight for undisputed.”
With the WBA 130lb title now vacant, Baumgardner will fight Elhem Mekhaled for all four major titles on February 4 at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater.
“She [Mekhaled] was supposed to fight for the title, that didn’t happen and now she’s able to fight for undisputed so I know she’s a hungry fighter, she’s coming with everything but this is my time to shine,” Baumgardner said.
“There’s so much more to show the world and to show myself that we’re changing every fight, we’re dominating every fight and I’m all for growth and I’m all for this movement that we have right now in women’s boxing.”
Another women’s undisputed fight will headline the bill in New York. Amanda Serrano, who moved back down to featherweight after losing a memorable clash with Katie Taylor last year, takes on Erika Cruz for the WBA, WBO, IBF and WBC titles.
“I’m on fire,” Baumgardner said. “When you look at Alycia Baumgardner and you look at her story and you look at her loss to her build-up, to her fighting for the world title, a defence and then fighting another great fighter. You see the story behind it.
“I think you appreciate what that fighter’s been through to get to the top. Now that we’re here there’s no going backwards. You see it with Amanda Serrano who had a loss, Canelo who had a loss. Losses don’t define you.”
Her feud with Mayer is not likely to fade. It could still ultimately lead to a rematch.
“The rivalry will always be there. Mikaela has a loss on her record and that loss is to Alycia Baumgardner,” she said.
“You’re always going to remember my name. No matter how our careers go there’s always going to be that bitterness within her. I’m sure people would love to see a rematch. In boxing anything can happen but right now at this moment I’m shooting for undisputed.
“I know Mikaela would love a rematch, that could be something down the line but right now I hold the cards.”
There is no doubt Mayer wants revenge. She previously told Sky Sports she believes she should have won their bout by two rounds.
“If Mikaela came to her senses and was like: ‘You know what, Alycia Baumgardner did beat me fair and square and I would love a rematch,’ maybe it would be a different answer,” Baumgardner said.
“Because she’s in denial and because she’s still bitter, it makes me feel like you still don’t get it. When you take a loss, you take that loss. You move forward. You grow from it. I’ve had that experience. I know what that looks like, I’m not going to sit up and be like, ‘I won that fight, I need a rematch.’ It doesn’t work like that.
“I would say take some humble pie, regain yourself, do what you got to do and maybe we’ll meet in the end.
“You can’t go back to the scorecards. They raised my hand that night. I became unified but we keep pushing forward. There’s so much more to do in the sport and as a fighter and I will continue to be that light for women’s boxing.”