The follow-up coronavirus test for Mikaela Mayer came back negative on Saturday, clearing a path for the super featherweight to return to the ring.
Mayer had initially been on Top Rank's first card back to boxing Tuesday, but upon arriving in Las Vegas last Saturday, she was tested for COVID-19 and came up positive. She was pulled from the card Sunday and drove back from Vegas to her home in Colorado, despite arguing she should have been allowed to take another test because she believed it had been a false positive.
The protocol in place by Top Rank and the Nevada State Athletic Commission say once a fighter tests positive for the coronavirus they are pulled from the card without a retest. Mayer instead decided to get tested again Tuesday in Denver, the results of which came back negative Saturday.
"In the future, I hope tests will be paired with blood work/antibody test to give an accurate assessment," Mayer wrote on Instagram announcing the negative test. "Ready to get back to work!"
Mayer's belief of her test being a false positive started because she was tested in Houston on May 29 before she left for Las Vegas. That test came back negative for COVID-19 but positive for the IGG antibodies, meaning she had come in contact with coronavirus and built up antibodies to fight it. She believed those tests would allow her to be in good shape. After testing in Vegas, she was the only one of her team to come up with a positive COVID test. Both of her trainers and her sparring partner in Houston came back negative for coronavirus.
Mayer has said she isn't angry with Top Rank or the commission but is hoping her case could help alter the protocols to allow for the possibility of false positives.
"This is still new, we don't know a lot about it and I just think having such a cutthroat policy, like positive test and you're done, is a little harsh," Mayer told ESPN last week. "Considering we don't have all the information and there has obviously been a handful of false positives in the past."
Top Rank president Todd duBoef told ESPN he believes Mayer's positive test and the subsequent pulling of her from the card showed the protocols they have in place worked. He also told ESPN there are no plans at this time to alter the protocol for the test due to larger safety concerns than keeping a fight together.
"In this world of not knowing and having to be, I'd rather err on the conservative side rather than be more liberal and I'm putting people at risk," duBoef said. "We're deploying people to trust us in our world. If I don't choose to do an event, there's not one Disney employee on the ground. There's not one Nevada state employee deployed to the event. There's not one other fighter or fighter camp. There's not one of my staff members at that bubble.
"So I'm asking hundreds of people or whatever that number is, to go to an event that I certified, that I hopefully certified representing that it's safe."
DuBoef said he doesn't have the power to unilaterally change the current protocol and if there are any eventual changes, it would come after consultation with the Nevada State Athletic Commission, MGM and ESPN/Disney -- all of which also have employees on site.
Top Rank and the Nevada State Athletic Commission stood by their protocols as they were signed off on by physicians who have worked on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as Top Rank's corporate partners.
Top Rank COO Brad Jacobs said he's discussed with Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Bob Bennett how retests can occur. As of now, the protocol allows for a retest if the initial test comes up indeterminate. If there is a positive, no retest is allowed.
"There is the possibility that you test negative, negative, positive, negative, negative," Jacobs said. "It happens. And it may be exactly what happens in Mikaela's case and unfortunately she got the wrong draw at the wrong time."
Mayer's manager, George Ruiz, said Mayer will head back into training camp in Marquette, Michigan, with Al Mitchell to prepare for a return to the ring. Both representatives from Top Rank and Ruiz have said the target date for Mayer's return would be in mid-July.