Alicia Baumgardner took a difficult road to become a world champion.
She currently holds the WBC super heavyweight belt and will take on WBO and IBF champion Mikaela Mayer in a prestigious unification bout on October 15. Sky Sports about the history of Claressa Shields vs. Savannah Marshall Bills.
It’s a long way from where she started. When Baumgardner first started his career, he had to juggle boxing around a job and sell tickets to his fights, all just to keep his dream of professional success alive.
“I was paying for my opponents, I was getting very little money. There was a time when I didn’t even get paid for a fight. But I don’t think it’s good, it’s not about the money. I was just ready to get out there and money will come,” he said Sky Sports.
“I had a small team that believed in me, and I decided to turn my career around and not go to the next Olympics, and my manager was very strict about this. He was like, it will be difficult and many people don’t care. women’s boxing But I will prove that all these people are wrong.
“He also said you’re not going to get paid what you think you should. I’m going to prove everyone wrong like I am. From the beginning I was selling tickets. I was selling tickets for $6,000. All my tickets were for people. come and see me.”
Baumgardner lost while building her career, and in 2018, she went 9-1 to Christina Linardatu, earning eight points.
“So I made it from my pro debut to the second, third, and fourth. My fifth fight I struggled to fight a 9-1 fighter. I was hungry. I was confident in my ability to be ready,” Baumgardner said. , who lost a narrow decision against Linardatu, who is a two-time world champion. So that’s quality. It’s not just a throwaway fighter that I’m fighting,” Baumgardner said.
“I work hard at this, and I still had to work in the process. I had to work a full-time job. I was an aide at a nursing home,” she said. “At one point I was a server. I used to drive for practice. I would drive from Ohio to Michigan every day, about two hours. I would drive, practice and come back. But I made up my mind. I did it for a very long time. , but I knew my work would pay off eventually.
“You have to have the mindset to believe in yourself and understand that you’re going into danger territory. It tells a story. It’s not just saying he’s been hit hard.”
He believes that these experiences, including the losses, will develop him as a fighter. Baumgardner resents Mayer for pointing out this flaw in his record.
“Losing is nothing against a fighter,” Baumgardner said. “It’s not really offensive [Mayer highlighting the defeat]. It is more proud.
“She pointed out that I haven’t done anything for the sport, and I said that every woman that’s stepped into that ring has done something for the sport of boxing. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a platform or support. Behind you, you’re still every time you step into that ring, you’re putting your life on the line, and that’s what I did. I made a statement in the ring and brought boxing with me like any other woman.”
Baumgardner then comes into this fight to show all that he is capable of. “I have a competitive spirit. I’m a competitor,” he said. “People still doubt me, but that’s part of the sport.
“My mindset is to win. My mindset is to have a dominant game and my hand will be up.”
“Winning this fight means everything.”
All tickets purchased for the original Shields vs Marshall date are valid until October 15th. Last remaining tickets can be purchased at boxxer.com.