Alycia Baumgardner will defend her undisputed super-featherweight crown when she takes on Christina Linardatou for the second time in her home city of Detroit this weekend, and we've got everything you need to know ahead of the bout.
The Bomb has suffered only one defeat in her 14 professional bouts, but the single loss came at the hands of Linardatou in 2018.
Medusa has since been beaten by the top-level Katie Taylor and there’s also a loss to Delfine Persoon on the Greek’s card, but she will no doubt take confidence from her previous triumph against Baumgardner.
The Bomb is the huge 1/10 favourite in front of a home Detroit crowd, but 6/1 shot Linardatou will be looking to shock the American for a second time.
Elsewhere on the card, the hugely-exciting Cuban star Andy Cruz gets set to make his professional debut against the battle-hardened lightweight veteran Juan Carlos Burgos.
Baumgardner v Linardatou 2: Fight Preview
Baumgardner v Linardatou 2: All You Need To Know
Baumgardner v Linardatou 2: Fighter Profiles
Baumgardner v Linardatou 2: Tale of the Tape
Baumgardner v Linardatou 2: Full Fight Card
Cruz v Carlos Burgos: Fight Preview
Cruz v Carlos Burgos: Tale of the Tape
|What||Alycia Baumgardner v Christina Linardatou |
Andy Cruz v Juan Carlos Burgos
|Where||Masonic Temple, Detroit|
|When||Sunday, July 16, 2023|
|How to watch||DAZN|
|Odds||Alycia Baumgardner 1/6, Christina Linardatou 6/1|
Andy Cruz 1/28, Juan Carlos Burgos 13/1
A lot has changed in the careers of Alycia Baumgardner and Christina Linardatou since they fought in July 2018.
That night in Louisville a raw Baumgardner was beaten over eight rounds, but the loss proved to be a blessing in disguise.
Ahead of their rematch on Saturday, Baumgardner now sits at the top of the women’s super-featherweight division as undisputed champion.
Linardatou meanwhile chose to move up 10 pounds to pursue her own world title aspirations which provided mixed results.
The American is an overwhelming favourite (1/10) to demonstrate how much she has developed and what the gulf in class looks like between herself and the Greek fighter.
However, there is one caveat to pay attention to... Saturday’s fight at The Masonic Temple in Detroit represents a homecoming for Baumgardner.
So far in 2023 Katie Taylor, Regis Prograis and Jared Anderson have proved that such an occasion can in fact be a far tougher assignment than expected.
The undisputed contest between Alycia Baumgardner and Christina Linardatou is due to take place on Sunday 16th July, 2023.
The televised card will begin at 01:00 UK time, with the ring walks for the main event expected to get underway at 04:00. Exact timings will depend on the duration of the undercard contests.
The fight will take place in Baumgardner’s home city of Detroit, Michigan.
The contest will take place at the world’s largest Masonic Temple and the Bomb will be able to call on plenty of support from the crowd.
The building was opened in 1926 and the Masonic Theater, where this bout will take place, has a seating capacity of 4,650.
The venue boasts a swimming pool, gymnasium, bowling alley, a pool hall and it is currently the home of the Detroit Handball Club. Detroit’s Masonic Temple is an imposing stone building and should serve as a fantastic fight setting.
The fight will be shown live on subscription streaming service DAZN. The bout will be available in over 200 countries and can be viewed on a myriad of devices.
All four major super-featherweight world titles are on the line in Detroit. Baumgardner is the undisputed four-belt world champion, having collected the belts in victories over Terri Harper, Mikaela Mayer and Elhem Mekhaled.
Linardatou is a former two-time WBO super-lightweight champion and that belt was relinquished by the 35-year-old following a break from the sport in 2020.
Baumgardner transformed her career overnight when she beat Terri Harper in Sheffield two years ago.
The 29-year-old backed herself to dethrone the Yorkshire fighter in front of Harper’s own fans and did so in emphatic fashion.
Her fourth round TKO showcased Baumgardner’s power and killer instinct which moved her from an eight-round undercard fighter to one of the best female boxers in the world.
Joining the ranks at Matchroom at the beginning of 2022 has done wonders for her profile and reputation which were boosted by a win over arch-enemy Mikaela Mayer and becoming undisputed champion.
Baumgardner is at the top of her game and now faces the only women to have beaten her in the professional code. Linardatou is now 35 and on the decline but Baumgardner will be wary of how everything she has worked for can easily be taken away.
Homecomings have become a trend in 2023 where the local favourite has had to work far harder than anticipated to get the win. In Katie Taylor’s case it was a disaster in Dublin against Chantelle Cameron.
If Baumgardner is to be successful in her pursuit of career defining fights against the likes of Amanda Serrano, Chantelle Cameron or Taylor then she must be professional and calculated on Saturday night.
By ignoring the noise and the hype Baumgardner can show what a homecoming really should look like.
|Good jab||Vulnerable when attacking|
|Overhand right||Can carry chin too high|
|Power punches||Unravels under pressure|
|Body shots||Open to a variety of right hand shots|
Since losing to Katie Taylor in 2019, Linardatou has fought on just two occasions.
She became a two-time super-lightweight world champion against Prisca Vicot in 2020 but had to vacate her title having fell pregnant. In September 2021 she gave birth to her son Apollo and resumed training two months later.
Linardatou has said that she is fighting for her son when she faces Baumgardner and that is motivation enough regardless of the task ahead.
However, at 35, she must find a way to turn back the clock and repeat the feat of five years ago when she beat the American over eight rounds. Baumgardner is a completely different fighter nowadays and looks unbeatable at 130lbs.
Homecoming bouts have been tricky obstacles in 2023 and Linardatou needs to take advantage of any nerves that Baumgardner may have early on.
The Dominican-born Greek will have to fight fire with fire against a heavy-handed champion who will look to not only get revenge but do so in a fashion that completely separates her from someone like Linardatou.
|Front foot pressure||Inactivity|
|Lead left hook||Dropping in weight|
|Body shots||Gets picked off by single shots|
|Good power||Struggles against speed|
We take a look at all of the vital statistics of both fighters as they get set for their showdown in the United States...
|Alycia 'The Bomb' Baumgardner||Christina 'Medusa' Linardatou|
|Height:||5ft 6ins||5ft 4ins|
|Trainer:||Tony Harrison||Manolis Lavdakis|
|Record:||14-1 (7 KOs)||14-2 (6 KOs)|
|Titles:||Undisputed super-featherweight champion||2x super-lightweight world champion|
|Last Fight:||W - UD v Elhem Mekhaled (Feb 2023)||W - UD v Aleksandra Vujovic (Jul 2022)|
|Alycia Baumgardner (1/10) v Christina Linardatou (6/1)||Undisputed super-featherweight championship|
|Andy Cruz (1/28) v Juan Carlos Burgos (13/1)||IBF International lightweight title|
|Jermaine Franklin (1/10) v Isaac Munoz (6/1)||Heavyweight bout|
|Marc Castro v Gonzalo Fuenzalida||Super-featherweight bout|
|Ja'Rico O'Quinn v Carlos Mujica||Bantamweight bout|
Whilst Baumgardner and Linardatou tops the bill in Detroit, the eyes of the boxing world will also hone in on Cuba's Andy Ruiz as the amateur sensation gets set for his professional debut.
Our boxing writer John MacDonald has been looking at the credentials of the 2020 Olympic gold medallist.
"One day, this may be our greatest ever signing - I would bet on Andy to beat any 135-pounder on the planet, now!” Those were the words of Eddie Hearn as he announced that Matchroom had signed Cuban phenomenon, Andy Cruz.
Under normal circumstances, such bold statements made about a fighter yet to have a professional fight would simply be dismissed as hyperbole, but Cruz is anything but normal.
The 27-year-old is a product of the famed Cuban amateur system which has produced some of the greatest fighters seen in the unpaid ranks such as: Guillermo Rigondeaux, Felix Savon and Teofilo Stevenson.
Cruz has conditioned the tradition of success for his nation, winning three consecutive amateur boxing World Championship titles and two Pan-Am Games as well as cementing his status as one of the finest amateur boxers of his generation by capturing gold at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
He is promising to bring fireworks to Michigan this weekend.
Saturday night in Detroit may become a 'where were you?' moment when Andy Cruz makes his professional debut.
A boxer of tremendous abilities, Cruz is one of the greatest amateur boxers of all-time and part of a conveyor belt of talent to emerge from Cuba.
The 27-year-old is being thrown into a 10-round fight by promoter Eddie Hearn on the Alycia Baumgardner-Christina Linardatou undercard, and standing opposite him will be Juan Carlos Burgos.
To put some context on that, seven months ago Cruz’s amateur rival Keyshawn Davis fought the Mexican veteran in his sixth professional contest which he won on points over eight rounds.
Signing with Matchroom in May put Hearn’s speakerphone on full volume when speaking about Cruz and his potential. He and many believe that Cruz can beat many of the top 10 lightweights right now.
Hyperbole? the early hours of Sunday morning will provide a few answers.
Not since the debut of the great Vasiliy Lomachenko 10 years ago has there been so much excitement over the beginning of a fighter’s career.
We take a look at all of the vital statistics of both fighters as they get set for their showdown on the undercard of Baumgardner v Linardatou 2...
|Andy Cruz||Juan Carlos Burgos|
|Height:||5ft 9ins||5ft 9ins|
|Trainer:||Derek Ennis||Mirguel Burgos|
|Record:||0-0 (Cruz making pro debut)||35-7-3 (21 KOs)|
|Titles:||2020 Olympic gold medallist||None|
|Last Fight:||N/A||L - UD v Keyshawn Davis (Dec 2022)|