The Masonic Temple in Detroit, Michigan hosts world championship boxing this Saturday evening, as Alycia Baumgardner defends her undisputed super featherweight crown in a rematch against Christina Linardatou.
Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing promote Baumgardner vs Linardatou, whilst DAZN televises the card live worldwide.
Baumgardner (14-1, 7 KOs) lost to Linardatou in 2018 via split decision over eight rounds, but has come on in leaps and bounds since and this remains her sole defeat.
The Detroit resident travelled to Sheffield at the back end of 2021, and stunned Terri Harper, stopping the Brit in the fourth to take the WBC and IBO belts, and after a shutout first defence, she was the underdog once more when attempting to become unified champion.
Mikaela Mayer was the star, and was expected to continue on the road to undisputed, but the 29-year-old upset the applecart at the O2 Arena, taking a split decision, and the IBF and WBO titles.
The remaining piece of the puzzle was the WBA strap, and that was duly added in February, when ‘The Bomb’ dropped Elhem Mekhaled twice on the way to a wide points win for the vacant crown.
Baumgardner now rematches Greece’s Linardatou (14-2, 6 KOs), a former two-time WBO champion at super lightweight.
‘Medusa’ won that vacant title in 2019 with a sixth round stoppage of Kandi Wyatt, but lost it to Katie Taylor on the cards in 2019, before regaining it when the Irish great returned to lightweight.
Ms. Undisputed 💙👊🏽 pic.twitter.com/zizcO7IgO2
— Alycia Baumgardner (@alyciambaum) July 12, 2023
The 35-year-old was last out in her native Greece in July 2022, outscoring Aleksandra Vujovic over six.
Although, she saw an April clash with Mayer shelved after the British Boxing Board of Control denied her a licence following a pre-fight eye exam.
Prediction: Baumgardner has progressed rapidly since defeating Harper, and things should be different in her rematch with Linardatou. I expect the American to take a clear decision win.
Franklin looks to bounce back
Jermaine Franklin (21-2, 14 KOs) returns after spirited defeats to Dillian Whyte and Anthony Joshua, and he should have too much for Isaac Munoz Gutierrez (17-0-1, 14 KOs) in their heavyweight clash set for ten.
Prediction: Franklin can come through against his late-notice opponent inside schedule.
Cruz makes eagerly-awaited debut
There’s a much-anticipated debut for Andy Cruz, and the Cuban Olympic gold medalist may need all ten rounds to handily outscore former three-time world title challenger, Juan Carlos Burgos (35-7-3, 21 KOs), in their meeting for the vacant IBF International lightweight title.
5 days til the debut 👀 https://t.co/WP2Mgg6D8g
— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) July 12, 2023
In the sole eight rounder, Ja’Rico O’Quinn (15-1-1, 8 KOs) can stop Carlos Mujica (8-2, 2 KOs) at super bantamweight.
In six round affairs, Joshua James Pagan (7-0, 3 KOs) can halt Gabriel Smith (11-9-1, 4 KOs) at super lightweight, while welterweight prospect, Jermarco Holloway (5-0, 2 KOs) should take care of Angelo Snow (9-4, 6 KOs) on the cards.
At featherweight, Cameron Pankey (7-0, 4 KOs) can take a points win against Misael Reyes (4-4, 1 KO).