By: Hector Franco
The Ring Magazine pound-for-pound number one women’s boxer Katie Taylor (17-0, 6 KOs) will step in the ring for the first time in 2021 to defend her undisputed lightweight championship against the United Kingdom’s Natasha Jonas (9-1-1 7 KOs).
Taylor will be making the 10th defense overall of her lightweight titles and the third defense of her undisputed (WBA, WBC, WBO, and IBF) lightweight championships that she won in 2019 against Belgium’s Delfine Persoon.
Her opponent, Jonas, will be moving up from the super featherweight division. Jonas recently challenged for the WBC title in the weight class against Terri Harper last August in a fight that ended in a split draw.
In Taylor’s relatively short time as a professional, she has faced nine former world champions racking up victories against fighters like Cindy Serrano, Eva Wahlstrom, and even a win over current undisputed women’s welterweight champion, Jessica McCaskill.
Taylor also moved up to junior welterweight to win the WBO title against Christina Linardatou in November 2019.
While Taylor’s opponent, Jonas, feels like a stepping-stone or a pit stop before more significant fights in the future, she cannot be overlooked as a worthy opponent.
“We don’t take easy fights,” said Taylor at the final press conference on Thursday. “I’m in this sport to fight the best. We train for every fight as if it’s the hardest to date. My mindset and mentality doesn’t change from fight to fight. I’m looking forward to a great fight on Saturday.”
Much like Taylor herself, Jonas has an extensive amateur pedigree winning the gold medal at the 2009 Women’s European Union Amateur Boxing Championships and the 2010 GB Women’s Amateur Boxing Championships. She also won a Bronze Medal at the 2012 AIBA Women’s Amateur Boxing Championships.
Most notably, in 2012, she lost to Taylor in the summer Olympic games in the second round. Taylor would go on to win gold at those Olympics.
Taylor’s closest bouts as a professional were against Persoon, whom she won a hotly debated majority decision over in 2019, and another closely contested unanimous decision in 2020.
Jonas feels she has the power to take the fight out of the judge’s hands.
“In boxing, one punch changes everything,” Jonas stated at the final press conference. “I do believe I have power. I don’t like making predictions or disrespect anybody, but I do believe I have the power to stop her.”
With huge fights on the horizon, such as a possible rematch against McCaskill or a bout with seven-division women’s champion Amanda Serrano, Taylor will have her hands full against Jonas.
Katie Taylor-Natasha Jonas will take place at the AO Arena in Manchester this Saturday and will be broadcast worldwide on DAZN.