Katie Taylor Remains The Undisputed Champion After War With Natasha Jonas
Undisputed lightweight champion Katie Taylor is arguably the top fighter in women’s boxing. Her name along with two-time undisputed champion Claressa Shields, undisputed welterweight champion/former foe Jessica McCaskill and eight division champion Amanda Serrano can be interchanged at the number one spot. She will revisit the past in her next bout as she takes on amateur rival Natasha Jonas for the third defense of the undisputed crown.
Jonas is coming off a heart-breaking draw in her first major title bid against WBC junior lightweight champion Terri Harper in August 2020. Many watching the bout felt they witnessed a new champion arise that night. This led to her getting an opportunity to fight for a championship bout again. However this time, it will be a fight she claims caused her to turn professional and it will be for all the belts. She refers to the champion as “unfinished business!”
In the 2012 Olympics, Jonas lost to Taylor in the quarterfinals who would go on to win the gold medal. That loss has haunted the 36 year-old and she vows to get her revenge! For Taylor, this is another routine night at the office. Many expect her to get passed Jonas again and are hoping a fight with Serrano can materialize soon.
The fans who wrote the challenger off were in for a surprise!
A REMATCH FOR ALL THE MARBLES
Understanding what she is fighting for, Jonas came into this bout extremely focused. You could see in her eyes that she really wanted this. She made a good account of herself sticking to the jab and utilizing her advantages of fighting southpaw to setup traps. Early on she looked confused by the boxing ability of the champion. Taylor did an excellent job of using her superior footwork to create angles and took advantage of Jonas being out of position.
However the middle rounds belonged to Jonas. For whatever reason, Taylor didn’t utilize the ring as much and instead tried to get inside darting straight in. As a result, she found herself getting peppered by hard jabs. Some of which visibly stopped her pursuit to get within mid-range distance. Additionally, Taylor elected not to box but wanted a close range dust-up in the middle rounds. Since Jonas is the inferior boxer, she welcomed a fight at close-range by consistently landing uppercuts and straight lefts up the middle and digging to the body.
The game-plan of Taylor was reminiscent of the one she executed against former WBC lightweight champion Delfine Persoon in their first fight. She elected not to utilize her boxing ability and found herself in a serious fight, one she barely won!
A CLOSE ONE DOWN THE STRETCH
Here, It became clear by the end of the eighth round this fight could go either way! The trainers for both women also made that apparent as they pleaded with their fighters to dig down deep and take the last two rounds. Both women entered the championship rounds firing away. Jonas seemed to fade halfway into the ninth and allowed the champion to dictate the pace. But in the tenth, she caught a second wind and attacked for the entire two minutes.
Nevertheless, the championship pedigree of Taylor would be on full display. As the challenger looked to land one or two big shots before reloading, the champion retaliated with a barrage of shots each time. The sheer volume would grant her the final round she desperately needed to keep her titles.
In the end, the judges felt Taylor successfully defended her undisputed status for a third time by a close decision. The scorecards read 96-94 and 96-95 twice. 3kingsboxing.com scored the fight 96-94 for the champion as well.
After the fight, there would be no mention as to what Taylor would do next. As mentioned previously, many wonder if a mega fight with Serrano would be revisited or a rematch for dual undisputed titles with McCaskill would materialize. It looks with the close win over an opponent many thought she would walk by, she may need some time to reflect before making a decision!
By: EJ Williams