Alycia Baumgardner, The Ring 130-Pound Champion, Cleared To Resume Career

Alycia Baumgardner poses after the final press conference before her win over Christina Linardatou on July 15, 2023 at the Masonic Temple in Detroit, Michigan. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom.

Alycia Baumgardner is set to resume her career.

The Ring and undisputed 130-pound champion is no longer under temporary suspension with the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC). The ban was listed on Friday after a months-long effort by Baumgardner to clear her name regarding a prior positive drug test. The last hurdle was cleared as she is now poised to kick off her 2024 campaign.

“Through trials and tribulations, I’ve stayed true to my faith in Jesus Christ,” Baumgardner posted on her social media channels. “Despite public scrutiny and lies, I remain strong and confident.

“My light shines bright, guided by God’s love. I am a courageous woman, unwavering in my journey.”

Baumgardner (15-1, 7 knockouts), The Ring’s No. 6 pound-for-pound fighter, has not fought since a July 15 unanimous decision over Christina Linardatou (14-3, 6 KOs), No. 4 at 140, in Detroit. The DAZN homecoming headliner saw Baumgardner defend the RING, WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO 130-pound titles. She also avenged her lone career defeat nearly five years to the day of their July 2018 meeting.

The victory lap lasted less than a month when word of her positive test leaked last August.

A July 12 drug testing sample, as collected by agents contracted by Drug Free Sport, showed evidence of the banned substance Mesterolone.

There were several issues raised, in particular the timing of the test and chain of custody issues attached to it. The sample was not received by accredited lab Sports Medicine Research & Testing until July 21, nine days after it was collected on site in Detroit. A report was filed on August 10, which showed evidence of the aforementioned substance.

Baumgardner professed her innocence throughout the process and complied with the terms set forth by all four sanctioning bodies and the ABC. It included multiple random drug tests, as well as Baumgardner’s own decision to submit a hair sample as part of an independent investigation. The provided sample was sufficient enough to test as far back as last June and produced a negative (clean) result.

“These results conclusively rule out ANY possibility of intentional doping on my behalf and confirms for all of you that I am what I say I am,” Baumgardner stated last November upon learning the result. “What I’ve stated from the very beginning is still true. I never have and never would cheat in the sport that I love and that I’ve been blessed with the gifts and opportunity to competitively dominate.”

The results were sent to all relevant parties in the investigation, including the Michigan Unarmed Combat Commission whose office was embarrassingly silent during the entire process. Baumgardner was deemed by the WBC as “not guilty of intentional ingestion or consumption of a banned substance for performance enhancement purposes” following a lengthy investigation.

Despite the determination, the WBC did not entirely allow the undisputed champion off the hook. Baumgardner was placed on a backdated one-year probation period which will end July 12, 2024. She will also have to continue to submit to Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA) testing, at her own cost.

VADA was not involved in the original testing process. Its inclusion in this process is in conjunction with the WBC’s Clean Boxing Program.

Final clearance still had to come from the ABC. Sanctioning bodies cannot formally clear any fighter other than to not strip said athlete of its title.

Baumgardner will now weigh her options for his first fight of 2024. She was previously vocal about a catchweight grudge match versus Claressa Shields (15-0, 2 KOs), The Ring and undisputed middleweight champion and No. 1 pound-for-pound queen. The beef generated plenty of attention online, though has since died down as Baumgardner has set her sights on more relevant options.

One desired target is Ireland’s Katie Taylor (23-1, 6 KOs). The Ring 135- and 140-pound champion and No. 2 pound-for-pound fighter is due to fight on May 25 in Dublin. She remains without an opponent, after talks stalled for a previously planned trilogy with Chantelle Cameron (18-1, 8 KOs), No. 1 at 140 and No. 3 pound-for-pound.

The Ring has learned that Cameron remains one of at least five opponents still in the mix for the May 25 date. The fight will land on DAZN, who prefers a known name to face Taylor.

Baumgardner perfectly fits that bill and would not have any problem moving up in weight. However, she could be pressed with a mandatory title defense. Former lightweight titlist Delfine Persoon (49-3, 19 KOs), No. 1 at 130, is Baumgardner’s top challenger among all four sanctioning bodies and the confirmed WBC mandatory.

Baumgardner fully unified the 130-pound division titles after a win over France’s Elhem Mekhaled (16-2, 3 KOs), No. 5 at 135, last February at Madison Square Garden Hulu Theater in New York City. The vacant WBA title was at stake in the fight.

The road to undisputed began with a Nov. 2021 fourth-round knockout of previously unbeaten WBC titlist Terri Harper (14-1-2, 6 KOs; No. 1 at 154). She then claimed the Ring, IBF and WBO belts in a ten-round, split decision victory over Mikaela Mayer (19-2, 5 KOs; No. 2 at 147, No. 10 pound-for-pound), who was also unbeaten at the time of their Oct. 2022 championship unification in London.

Along with her next fight, Baumgardner’s name has surfaced in her venture out west where she is training for the moment. The 130-pound queen is currently in Las Vegas, momentarily working with Bill Haney. The elder Haney is the father and head trainer of Devin Haney (31-0, 15 KOs), The Ring’s No. 1 contender at 140. Devin Haney is in camp for an April 20 WBC title defense versus Ryan Garcia (24-1, 20 KOs) in Brooklyn.

Jake Donovan a senior writer for The Ring and vice president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

<a class=”twitter-follow-button” href=”” data-show-count=”false”>Follow @JakeNDaBox</a><script async src=”” charset=”utf-8″></script>

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button


Get our latest downloads and information first. Complete the form below to subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

100% secure your website.