Alycia Baumgardner and The Controversy Surrounding the Super Featherweight Prodigy

August 17, 2023
From: Spartacus

The world of boxing, often no stranger to shockwaves, is currently experiencing a seismic tremor. This time, it’s centred around the dazzling super featherweight champion, Alycia Baumgardner, who until recently seemed invincible in her boxing pursuits.

Fresh on the heels of a spectacular defence of her undisputed titles, Baumgardner’s career narrative has suddenly taken an unforeseen twist. The revelations that have come to light could possibly alter the trajectory of a hitherto glowing boxing stint.

Prominent boxing insider, Dan Rafael, has thrown a wrench into the works with his alarming report. According to him, Baumgardner, just days before her impressive victory against Christina Linardatou, was flagged for testing positive for Mesterolone, a banned steroid. The timing of this test, on July 12, adds another layer of complexity, being merely three days before she showcased her dominance in the ring, retaining her titles with a unanimous verdict.

Baumgardner, not one to be cornered, responded swiftly and emphatically to these grave allegations. She took to the public forum to voice her stance, declaring, “I never [have], never would and never will take this or any other drug.” In her detailed rebuttal, she underscored the seeming inconsistency in the results. While the July 12 test pointed to the presence of the banned substance, her subsequent post-fight tests were squeaky clean. She emphasised the improbability of such a scenario, terming the initial positive test as “essentially impossible.” Baumgardner’s determination to clear her name is palpable, with her fervently stating her resolve: “I have no intention of sitting back in silence and letting this ‘play out.'”

The boxing community is abuzz, with everyone from promoters to trainers and fans weighing in on this unfolding drama. Lou DiBella, the promoter for Linardatou, didn’t stay silent either. He took to social media to elucidate his awareness of the situation, mentioning the “adverse PED findings” linked to Baumgardner’s pre-bout screenings. His tweet provided an insight into the intricate maze surrounding such PED testings in professional boxing:

“As @MambaChristina Linarditou’s promoter, I have been informed that there were adverse PED findings in test(s) of the champion, Alycia Baumgardner. At this point, I have no specific information; I believe that the Michigan commission and world ratings orgs have been informed. Michigan will not confirm anything to me and told me I would need to make a Freedom of Information Act request. I have not heard from the sanctioning bodies yet. PED testing in #boxing is a trip.”

For those unfamiliar with the history between Baumgardner and Linardatou, it is a story of rivalry, redemption, and determination. Linardatou, boasting a record of 14 wins with 3 losses and 6 KOs, has the unique distinction of being the only boxer to have marred Baumgardner’s otherwise stellar record. Their encounter in July 2018 resulted in a split decision tilted in favour of Linardatou. But, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Baumgardner rebounded fiercely, piling up eight back-to-back victories. Among these wins, two stand out prominently: a nail-biting split decision against Mikaela Mayer and a unanimous decision triumph over Elhem Mekhaled, which saw her unify the super featherweight titles.

Their highly publicised rematch was the pièce de résistance of DAZN’s fight card held at the iconic Masonic Temple Detroit on July 15. With the sporting world watching, Baumgardner solidified her supremacy, clinching a unanimous decision, reflected in the scorecards which read 98-92, 98-92, and 99-91.

But if you thought Baumgardner’s journey had hit a peak, there’s more. A recent report by Jake Donovan from Boxing Scene divulged the WBA’s mandate for a Baumgardner face-off with the erstwhile champion, Hyun Mi Choi. Choi had earlier been dubbed “Champion in Recess” post a medical exemption but now seems to be back in her prime, ready to lock horns and reclaim her title.

Yet, amidst the crescendo of excitement and anticipation, looms the shadow of Baumgardner’s alleged PED test. The outcome of this controversy will indubitably influence the roadmap of her career, potentially impacting the much-awaited bout with Choi. The boxing world watches with bated breath, hoping for clarity in this intricate web of allegations, denials, and truths.

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