Saturday, January 20th 2024

Liverpool Split: Natasha Jonas Edges Mikaela Mayer to Retain Welterweight Crown

LIVERPOOL, England (Jan. 20, 2024) — Two-division world champion Natasha Jonas(15-2-1, 9 KOs) defended her IBF welterweight world title with a razor-thin split decision over former unified junior lightweight world champion Mikaela Mayer (19-2, 5 KOs)Saturday evening at M&S Bank Arena in Jonas’ hometown of Liverpool, England.

Two judges scored the fight 96-94 and 96-95 for Jonas, while a third judge had it 97-93 for Mayer.

Jonas used her hand speed and footwork to connect with crisp punches in the early rounds. However, Mayer’s size and strength began to make a difference down the stretch as she landed right hands and corralled Jonas against the ropes.

The middle rounds saw Jonas and Mayer exchanging in the center of the ring, going tit for tat with punishing body blows. But, in the final two rounds, Mayer finished strong with relentless pressure, while Jonas answered with quick counters.

Jonas said, “I had a good start. I landed harder and cleaner shots. I think toward the end she outworked me a little. I’ll give her a couple of the middle rounds. But I came on strong at the end.

“I know she is going to be absolutely devastated with the result because I’ve been there. It feels like the world is over. She is on my top two people that I’ve fought. She is very skilled. Her time will come again. She beat a lot of the champions. Please use that as motivation to become a two-weight world champion.”

Mayer said, “I thought I did enough to win. I would have given her the first round or two. But after that, I feel like I outpunched her. I landed the cleaner shots. At the end of the day, I think that this fight is worth seeing again. Like she said, it was one of the toughest fights she’s had. I didn’t have a rematch clause on my side, but I’m hoping we can get this fight done again.

“It’s definitely disappointing. But what am I going to do? I just hope that Natasha will be the standup champ that she is and give me another shot at the belt. I feel like I deserve it. I think they want to see it. I only believe that rematches should happen if they’re warranted.”

In other action:

Super Middleweight: Zak Chelli (15-2-1, 7 KOs) UD 12 Jack Cullen (22-5-1, 10 KOs), Scores: 116-113, 115-114, and 116-112. Chelli won Cullen’s British and Commonwealth Titles.

Featherweight: Karriss Artingstall (6-0, 1 KO) UD 8 Lila dos Santos Furtado (9-2, 1 KO), Score: 77-75.

Middleweight: Ste Clarke (1-0, 1 KO) TKO 3 Vasif Mamedov (3-47-5), 1:53.

Super Middleweight: Aaron McKenna (18-0, 9 KOs) TKO 6 Mickey Ellison (14-7, 5 KOs), 2:21.