Alycia Baumgardner Doesn't Pull Her Punches – Muscle & Fitness

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Just weeks away from the chance to unify the women’s junior lightweight titles, Alycia Baumgardner is as locked in as one would be for the opportunity to make history.
Baumgardner (12-1, 7 KOs) also stands to earn the highest payday of her career — but standing in front of her will be unbeaten Mikaela Mayer (17-0, 5 KOs). The Sept. 10 bout at the 02 Arena in London represents a historic all-women’s boxing card with the headliner being the women’s superfight between Claressa Shields vs. Savannah Marshall.
Muscle and Fitness caught up with Alycia Baumgardner to discuss her preparation, being featured on a “life changing” card for the sport, her modeling career, and the legacy she’s creating.
Right now, we’re at the pinnacle part of training camp. This is where we really push through because we have four weeks left. When fight week comes, we kind of relax. We’ll do some minimal training just to stay loose. We’re sparring three days a week. We’re running twice a day, so everything is up to task — just making sure everything is clicking.
We start with a 5:30 a.m. run. We’re doing 800 meters at the track. With where I’m at in camp, that’s probably about eight of those, which is tough. We go back home, relax, have breakfast, get back up at noon. That will be when the second workout is. If it’s a sparring day, I’m probably doing about eight to 10 rounds. After sparring, I’ll hit the bag, might do a cooldown run. After that, I go back home, relax. The third workout of the day could be swimming or a recovery workout. I’ll go to sleep after that and then do it again the next day.
This card is life changing. I’ll say this speaks volumes to the sport of boxing, period — not just women’s boxing but boxing overall. To be a part of this card is to be a part of history. It’s not common to have an all-women’s card, especially two cards that are for titles to unify the division, to be undisputed. Also, to be in the UK at the O2 Arena — that’s huge as well. And just the pedigree of the fight. These are top quality athletes at the top of their weight class that you’re going to be able to see. This is going to be the best of the best fighting one another.
I believe this will change the direction of how women’s boxing goes. Earlier in the year, we had Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano — that did numbers in Madison Square Garden and that allowed this card, I believe, to showcase in a different spotlight, to have more than one female fight on the card for the titles to really elevate the sport of women’s boxing and to put more eyes on it. I think a lot of people will be tunes in. There’s real animosity between me and Mikaela and between Savannah and Claressa, so it’s definitely worth watching.
Honestly, I just take some time for myself. I’ll do some journaling, some praying, and just really sit with myself to understand my assignment. I’ll even watch some sparring videos just to keep this image in my head to know I’m the best. That separates me from the world, what I’m going into, to really just focus on self. At the end of the day, I’m the one going into the ring by myself.
There are two sides to me. With boxing being a male-dominated sport and as brutal as some say — I’m able to separate the two and be a beauty and a beast, and really just combine the two. I can be this strong woman, but I can also have this feminine side to me to show my soft side and get dressed up. I think it’s a great balance to have and show others that, “Oh she can do both and she can fight. She can’t just fight, she can fight, fight!”
With modeling, I would say just being comfortable was the adjustment. Just like being comfortable in front of the camera doing interviews, it’s kind of the same thing. Just putting myself in the mindset of you don’t have to overthink. Just be who you are, be comfortable and when you’re your authentic self, you’re able to just produce more of who you are for the world to see.
Just being fit and my wellness as a person is important to me and it’s a lifestyle. So, I make sure that I’m eating right, and my weight is good so that just transitions into your lifestyle. So, when I do get a call, I don’t have to worry about losing weight or if my abs are on point. I’m ready to go.
I’m very conscious of what I’m eating. Don’t get me wrong, I do cheat meals a lot but how I eat, I know it’s part of my performance and I’m putting that towards something. It’s important that people know that it’s a lifestyle and it has to be. When you’re in a sport like this, you never know when you’ll get that call to fight. You don’t want to be overweight and now you’re in camp, losing weight instead of training for the fight. That’s no issue with me as I stay at fighting weight.
Even with a busy schedule, Alycia Baumgardner teaches self-defense classes to women in Detroit at SuperBad Boxing for three years.
“Men are invited but it’s mostly all women. It’s a 30-minute class with the sauna on, so it’s hot in there as well. You’re losing weight, sweating, and controlling your breathing. We’re punching the bag and it’s all full-body cardio. A lot of women love it. We’re playing music and it’s fun when you can make exercise fun.
I believe in motivating people. At the end of the day, years from now, they’ll remember that Alycia helped me get through this hurdle. Whether if it was to lose weight, or if it was a conversation to motivate you to come to the next class. It’s all about planting those seeds into people and watering them daily so they can do that for others. I think that’s how wisdom grows throughout and from one person to another.
When you speak about women’s boxing, you’re going to mention Alycia Baumgardner. Being in the Hall of Fame and just cementing who I am. She’s this all-around athlete but she’s also this woman who is helping her communities, giving back, and motivating others. Legacy is also your character. People remember who you are as well as your accomplishments. I can be a multi-world champion but it’s also my character, what I do, how I give back, and how I keep progressing in my life.
You can watch Alycia Baumgardner in action vs. Mikaela Mayer on Sept. 10 on ESPN+
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