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Mikaela Mayer moving up to lightweight to face Christina Linardatou in 2023

The former junior lightweight champ is moving up and could set up a showdown with Katie Taylor.

Mikaela Mayer reacts after defeat in the IBF, IBO, WBC and WBO Super Featherweight World Title fight between Mikaela Mayer and Alycia Baumgardner on the Shields vs Marshall Boxxer fight night which is the first women’s only boxing card in the UK at The O2 Arena on October 15, 2022 in London, England. Photo by James Chance/Getty Images

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.