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US Olympic boxer Mikaela Mayer dominates her pro debut



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LOS ANGELES (AP) — U.S. Olympic boxer Mikaela Mayer dominated her pro debut Saturday night, stopping Widnelly Figueroa 75 seconds into the first round.

Mayer hurt Figueroa with a right hand and followed with a finishing combination to claim her first professional victory.

"I thought I was going to feel a little more nervous, but I actually felt calm," Mayer said.

Mayer fell one victory short of a medal in Rio de Janeiro, and the 27-year-old thought about waiting for four more years for another shot at a gold medal in Tokyo. Instead, she turned pro with Top Rank last month and immediately secured this 132-pound bout in her hometown on the undercard of Vasyl Lomachenko's 130-pound title fight with Miguel Marriaga.

Mayer's longtime coach, Al Mitchell, plans to move the fighter among three camps for the next several months. She will train in Northern Michigan with Mitchell, in Colorado Springs with USA Boxing coach Kay Koroma, and back home in Los Angeles, where she hasn't lived for several years.

"I want to get her four or five more fights to get her more polish, and see how she goes the distance," Mitchell said.

Mayer had dozens of friends and family members in the Microsoft Theater. She plans to fight as often as possible while working toward an eventual title shot.

Mayer and Claressa Shields were the only women representing the U.S. in the Olympic boxing tournament in Rio. Shields, the two-time gold medalist, won the WBC super middleweight title Friday night with a fifth-round stoppage of Nikki Adler in Detroit.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Greg Beacham

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