The lightweight division has a new challenger arriving in 2023. Former junior lightweight champ Mikaela Mayer is moving up after failing to secure a rematch with Alycia Baumgardner. Mayer will make her debut against Christina Linardatou at a date still to be determined, per ESPN.
Mayer last fought in October, losing a title fight against Baumgardner via split decision that cost her the WBO, IBF, and The Ring titles. Baumgardner denied her a rematch and WBA champ Hyun-Mi Choi has not been willing to fight her at junior lightweight.
Linardatou is 14-2 with six KOs, but has fought only once since 2020. She beat Aleksandra Vujovic in July via unanimous decision. Linardatou’s most significant bout came in 2019 when she lost a unanimous decision to Katie Taylor for the WBO junior welterweight title.
Taylor has primarily fought at lightweight and is the queen of the division, while also ranking as the No. 2 pound-for-pound fighter at The Ring. She last fought in October, successfully defending her undisputed lightweight title against Karen Carabajal. Taylor is 22-0 and prior to that win over Carabajal she won a high profile fight at Madison Square Garden, claiming a split decision win over Amanda Serrano.