Saturday 21 September 2019

Natasha Jonas targeting 'super-fight' against Katie Taylor

Katie Taylor got the better of Natasha Jonas at London 2012
Katie Taylor got the better of Natasha Jonas at London 2012 Newsdesk Newsdesk

Natasha Jonas believes she and Katie Taylor could clash in the first professional 'super-fight' between two women from the British Isles.

Liverpool-based Jonas became the first British woman to box at an Olympic Games when she was the first home female fighter in the ring at London 2012.

She lost to Taylor in the quarter-finals of the lightweight division, and her Irish conqueror went on to land the gold medal.

Jonas retired in 2015 at the age of 30, while still an amateur, but has laced up her gloves again for a career in the paid ranks.

She landed a WBA International super-featherweight title last month, beating Taoussy L'Hadji on the undercard of Amir Khan's fight against Phil Lo Greco at Liverpool's Echo Arena.

That is a low-level belt though, and Jonas says she needs to win a genuine world title before getting in the ring with fully-fledged WBA and IBF lightweight world champion Taylor.

"We're currently at two different weight divisions. She's a double world champion now so I've got to play catch-up and get my own belt," Jonas said.

"I've got to become a world champion in my own right before I can start putting meetings together, to unify anything. I don't want to come to the table with nothing so it's all about me paving my own way and making my own path because my journey isn't about Katie Taylor, it's about me, but if we meet up at the end that's brilliant."

Jonas, nicknamed Miss GB, has won all six of her professional bouts and said: "Every sport needs a domestic rivalry and you had (Chris) Eubank, (Nigel) Benn and (Steve) Collins, and now you've got your James DeGale, Callum Smith and George Groves and Eubank Jr. They're fights that everyone wants to see.

"It's good people are having the same conversation about women's boxing and it's good me and Katie are part of that. It's quite flattering to be honest.

"Potentially there's a super-fight between two women."

Both she and Taylor are signed to Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Boxing stable, a factor which may help bring about the fight with Taylor.

Jonas, whose sister Nikita Parris plays for the Manchester City and England football teams, is backing the #ShowUp campaign launched by the Women's Sport Trust and Sky Sports, which encourages people to attend sports events, take part or watch from home.

"It's not a campaign just for women, it's a campaign for everybody to show up, get involved and participate from the ground upwards," Jonas said, "whether that's watching on telly, coming along to an event or encouraging your child to get involved and have a go."

- Sky Sports and the Women's Sport Trust have partnered to encourage everyone to show up and support women in sport by watching, attending or playing this summer. Be a part of the campaign by sharing your experiences of women's sport on social using #ShowUp

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