Mikaela Mayer will move up to lightweight and look to force a shot at Katie Taylor as a mandatory challenger.
America’s Mayer was a unified world champion at super-featherweight and lost a split decision to Alycia Baumgardner in her last fight, a result she still disputes.
Mayer will box next on April 15 when she fights Christina Linardatou at 135lbs.
“I didn’t want to take a step back in any way, so I told my team that I wanted to take on a top contender and I think it’s kind of fun to take on someone like Linardatou, who did beat Baumgardner,” Mayer told Sky Sports.
“She is a top contender. She’s only lost to Delfine Persoon and Katie Taylor.
“I need a good boxer to motivate me and be a challenge.”
Mayer is already highly rated. She is the WBO’s No 1 contender at lightweight and with Linardatou their No 3, Mayer expects the winner to eventually be called as the mandatory challenger for the WBO’s world title, one of the belts that undisputed champion Taylor holds.
“This is the way to go about it, become mandatory,” Mayer said. “This is what I want for my career. I want to go out swinging, challenging the best possible fighters and putting on the biggest shows.
“That was my plan. Coming to 135lbs, my goal was to go for the champion. Whatever division I’m in, the goal is to go for the champion. I’m really excited that winning this fight will put me back in position for a world title.”
“It just shows how great women’s boxing is becoming. I’ve always said that one loss shouldn’t define your career. As long as you’re challenging yourself against top quality opponents, and putting on exciting fights, it shouldn’t matter .
“I feel like I’m proving that when I go back and challenge a top contender like Linardatou. I’m going to beat her, I’m going to be back in position to become world champion.”
Not that Mayer expects Linardatou to be a straightforward contest.
“I know I have power and I want to show because it’s been a while since I got a stoppage,” she said. “I’m looking to hurt her.
“I want to hurt her. Because someone like her, she just continues to keep coming, keep coming. If you don’t hurt her, she’s going to keep coming.
“She comes forward. I’m going to have to outbox her but, like I said, if she doesn’t respect my punches or respect my power then she’s going to keep coming and try and overwhelm me.”
Mayer added: “I definitely have to win this fight, regardless of how I win. I would love to look amazing and really show the world that I’m still the greatest, because that’s how I feel and let it all out this time. “