Former unified junior lightweight world champion Mikaela Mayer returns in a 10-round junior welterweight battle against Italian contender Silvia Bortot on Saturday, Sept. 2 at AO Arena in Manchester, England.
Mayer-Bortot will take place on the undercard of the highly anticipated middleweight rematch between bitter rivals Liam Smith and Chris Eubank Jr.
Promoted by BOXXER, Smith-Eubank II, Mayer-Bortot and additional undercard bouts will stream live and exclusively in the U.S. on ESPN+ starting at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT. Sky Sports Box Office will broadcast the event in the UK and Ireland.
Mayer (18-1, 5 KOs), a 2016 U.S. Olympian, signed with Top Rank in 2017 and captured the WBO junior lightweight world title by defeating Ewa Brodnicka in October 2020. The following year, the Los Angeles native unified the WBO and IBF titles in an action-packed slugfest against Maiva Hamadouche. In October 2022, she suffered a razor-thin split decision loss to Alycia Baumgardner in an undisputed world title showdown at London’s O2 Arena. Mayer then moved up to lightweight and scored a unanimous decision win over Lucy Wildheart in April. She now prepares to make her third consecutive appearance in London.
Mayer said, "It's my sixth year as a pro, but I've never felt better. My run at 130 was a ton of fun and something I'm proud of, but it's time for a new chapter. It's time to combine my experience with my size and see what I can accomplish. This fight is at 142 pounds, but 147 is the next hot division in women's boxing, and that's where I'm headed."
Bortot (11-2-1, 3 KOs) debuted in the pro ranks in 2016 and captured the European junior welterweight title in 2019 with a fourth-round TKO win over Marie Helene Meron. She suffered her first loss via ninth-round TKO in April 2022 but bounced back that year with three victories. In her last outing, she lost to undefeated standout Flora Pili via 10-round decision in May.
Smith (33-3-1, 20 KOs) captured the WBO junior middleweight title with a seventh-round TKO win over Apollo Thompson in 2015. He defended the title twice before losing to Canelo Alvarez in 2016. Smith remained a division mainstay during the following five years, earning wins over the likes of Liam Williams, Anthony Fowler and Jessie Vargas. In September 2022, he made his middleweight debut with a stoppage win over Hassan Mwakinyo before upsetting Eubank via fourth-round TKO in their first encounter.
Eubank (32-3, 23 KOs) began his pro career in 2011 and went 18-0 before losing to Billy Joe Saunders in 2014. In 2017, he moved up to super middleweight and beat former two-division world champion Arthur Abraham and then-unbeaten contender Avni Yildirim. In his first world title shot, he suffered a unanimous decision loss to George Groves in February 2018. Eubank returned with wins against JJ McDonagh and former world champion James DeGale before returning to middleweight, where he was 4-0 before the first Smith showdown.