Katie Taylor turns out to be too good for Natasha Jonas as the Irish fighter retains her lightweight world belts after coming through a thriller in Manchester after a narrow point win.
- Katie Taylor retained her WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO lightweight belts on Saturday
- She claimed a narrow win over Natasha Jonas in a Manchester thriller
- It came nearly nine years after their momentous Olympic clash in London
- Taylor won on his way to Olympic gold and the Irish fighter prevailed again here
She has beaten her in Bulgaria and London and now also in Manchester.
In the deafening sound of an Olympic cauldron and in the silence of the Covid era, Katie Taylor has proven to be just a fraction too fast and too good for Natasha Jonas, but what a close-run thing. And what a great fight.
Really, with Taylor beating this battle of old rivals with a score of 96-94 on one card and 96-95 on two others. It was probably fair, and it was certainly indicative of a brutally tight match.
Katie Taylor poses with Eddie Hearn and her seat belts after beating Natasha Jonas in Manchester
The Irish fighter claimed a narrow point win over a known foe in a Manchester thriller
You have to go back 10 years to their first amateur fight, and nine years to their deafening quarter-final in London 2012, which set Taylor on course for an Olympic gold medal for embarking on a professional career in which she took women’s boxing to new heights lifted.
She is a marvel of her sport, and indeed the holder of all four lightweight world belts, but she was pushed terribly close at the Manchester Arena.
Jonas, making her second attempt to win a world title, was on a mission. First by overcoming a slow start, even with a few laps left, and then in the thrilling exchanges that saw the fight to the finish. Taylor converted them to shadow the fight to go to 18-0, but there was very little to it.
“I’m just delighted,” she said of a win and a performance that made fun of Chisora-Parker as the main event.
What a fight. Every time we fight is the edge of your seat and this was no different. I thought I had won the championship rounds and it is a great win. We get the best out of each other.
Taylor is a marvel at her sport, but she was pushed terribly close at the Manchester Arena
Jonas, who made her second attempt to win a world title, was on a mission and was really impressed
Natasha is good enough to win a world title. Her last two performances have shown that. She has everything.
“You feel sorry for Parker-Chisora who follows. It could have been a headliner fight and that shows why. ‘
Jonas, twice a beaten contender, said, “I knew it was close. I want to win tires, I want to be a champion. There were rounds where I gave her too much time to recover, but it’s all learning. I want to be here at the championship level. ‘
Taylor looked better with those fast hands in the first few rounds, but Jonas started to gain ground in the third.
Jonas seemed to be exhausting in a scrappy ninth, which was taken by Taylor for a great finish
She took the center, got a few shots, mostly on Taylor’s body, then had success again with her jab in the fourth, but the cleaner, sharper job came from the opposite direction.
Halfway through the champion was possibly a whopping 4-1, although Jonas pulled one back in the sixth. A precise straight line to the left gave Jonas a foothold in the seventh, before making two more hard headshots and some brilliant turns. It developed into an engaging fight.
Jonas opened with a combination in the eighth and bypassed a compromise, and they may have been right with two more sessions to go. If there was any frustration at this point, it was that the rounds were limited to just two minutes at a time.
Jonas seemed to be exhausting in a scrappy ninth, which was taken by Taylor, who landed a hard right to the mouth, before the frenzy of a final lap ripped out. A brilliant fight.