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WBO/IBF junior lightweight world champion – Mikaela Mayer [the Southern California native who is now one of the sport’s top pound-for-pound talents], is ready for her home region title defense.

The unified world champion [Mayer] will defend her belts against former featherweight world champion – Jennifer Han on Saturday evening at the Orange County Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, California [ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+, 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT].

Speaking ahead of the highly anticipated fight, Mayer has promised to entertain the crowd:

“I haven’t fought in LA in a long time. It’s kind of come full circle. I started here 14 years ago when I was 17. And I left at 19 years old with a dream: to become an Olympian and become one of the best female fighters in the world. Fourteen years later, I’m here fighting in the main event on ESPN. I’ve come a long way.”

“I’ve known Jennifer for a long time. In one of my first amateur tournaments, she was there cornering for her sister. She was around, and she had already been in the game. She’s been in this game for a really long time. She comes from a family of fighters, so it’s in her blood. She just went 10 rounds against the 135-pound undisputed champion, Katie Taylor, so I have tons of respect for her. I know she has experience and has trained hard, and we didn’t look past her at all in preparing for this fight.”

“It’s no secret that I wanted to continue to unify. I wanted Alycia Baumgardner. I wanted Hyun Mi Choi. That was my first choice. They’re not quite ready to step up to that, I guess, so we had to look at another direction.”

Despite being a multiple champion, Mayer have some respect for her opponent:

“We wanted to fight someone who is strong and proven. We don’t want any easy fights. We want to continue growing and getting better. Jennifer Han had just come off a strong fight against Katie Taylor, and we thought that would be a good matchup for now. We trained hard for her. We know that she had just given birth going into the fight with Katie Taylor and she still did what she did, but we expect her to be even sharping coming into this fight.”

By Kristopeace Osei Wusu

www.sports24ghana.com