LOS ANGELES – Mikaela Mayer of Los Angeles realized a dream when she competed for Team USA in the 2016 Rio Games. On Saturday, it was time for her to take her talents to the pro ranks.
It didn’t take long for Mayer to make her debut successful as she pounded Widnelly Figueroa to the canvas with a barrage of punches, knocking her out at 1:15 of the first round. The bout took place underneath the junior lightweight title fight between champion Vasyl Lomachenko and Miguel Marriaga at Microsoft Theater.
Once the much shorter Figueroa went down, referee Lou Moret didn’t take long to wave off the bout as Figueroa shook her head toward her corner while on her knees.
Mayer, 27, said she was surprised she didn’t have more butterflies.
“I was nervous in the locker room, but once I got in the ring, I was fine,” she said.
Still, she didn’t quite remember what started her array of punches that spelled the end for Figueroa.
“I think it started with the jab,” she said, smiling.
Her trainer, Al Mitchell, knew exactly what happened.
“Left and right to the body,” he said.
Mitchell said that his plan for Mayer was to use the jab a lot because of his fighter’s height advantage.
“Because she was short, keep the jab in her face,” Mitchell said. “She started ducking down from the jabs, and that’s wnen she got her with the body shot.”
Mitchell graded Mayer’s performance.
“A C-plus, maybe a B,” he said.
He, too, thought Mayer might be experiencing some anxiety.
“But once the bell rang, she was like a tiger out there,” he said.
Mayer, who is 5-foot-9, lost in the quarterfinals at Rio to Anastasia Belyakova of Russia.
Figueroa, of Green Bay, Wis., is listed at 5-5 but didn’t appear that tall. She is 0-2.
The lightweight bout was scheduled for four rounds.
Artemia Reyes of Riverside is now 25-2 with 20 knockouts after knocking out Steve Marquez at 1:54 of the fourth round. Their welterweight bout was scheduled for eight rounds.
Marquez, of Fort Morgan, Colo., is 16-19-2.
Also, Erick De Leon of Detroit remained undefeated with a six-round unanimous decision over Adones Aguelo (27-16-2) of the Philippines in the super featherweight division.
De Leon (17-0) won by scores of 59-55, 60-54 and 60-54.
Esquiva Falcao of Brazil also kept his record unblemished with an eight-round unanimous decision over Norberto Gonzalez of Mexico in the middleweight division. Falcao (18-0) won by three scores of 80-72.
Gonzalez is 24-10.
There were no knockdowns.