Source: Baumgardner to fight Mekhaled in Feb.


Alycia Baumgardner’s first defense of her WBC, IBF and WBO titles will come against Elhem Mekhaled as the co-feature on the Amanda Serrano-Erika Cruz card on Feb. 4 in New York City, a source confirmed to ESPN on Thursday.

The Baumgardner-Mekhaled fight will be for the undisputed junior lightweight title. WBA champion Choi Hyun-mi has been named the champion-in-recess after an injury nixed the ordered undisputed title fight between Baumgardner and Choi, a source said.

Boxing Scene first reported the news of the fight.

This will be the second undisputed title fight on the card along with Serrano-Cruz, which will be for the undisputed featherweight title.

The 28-year-old Baumgardner won the IBF and WBO titles in October when she beat Mikaela Mayer in the co-feature fight of the Claressa Shields-Savannah Marshall fight in the United Kingdom. This will be Baumgardner’s first defense of the IBF and WBO titles and third defense of the WBC title she won in 2021 when she knocked out Terri Harper.

Baumgardner (13-1, 7 KO), a Detroit resident from Fremont, Ohio, will be fighting in New York for the first time as a professional and in the United States for the first time as a champion. Her last United States fight came on Aug. 14, 2021, when she beat Vanessa Bradford in Orlando.

Mekhaled, a 31-year-old from Paris, fought once in 2022, losing a unanimous decision to Delfine Persoon in May.

It was the first time Mekhaled (15-1, 3 KO) had lost in her career. She had won an interim WBC junior lightweight title fight in 2019 when she beat then-undefeated Danila Ramos by unanimous decision.

This will be the first time Mekhaled has fought in the United States as a professional.

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