Natasha Jonas: 2022 3Kings Boxing Female Fighter Of The Year

Natasha Jonas' Career Resurection In 2022 Was Massive!

Collage of Natasha Jonas and her fights
Natasha Jonas | Jonas stops Namus (Credit: Nick Potts/PA) | Jonas vs Berghult (Credit: Lawrence Lustig/Boxxer) | Jonas vs Dicaire (Credit: Lawrence Lustig/Boxxer).

Natasha Jonas: From Contender To 3-belt Unified Champion In One Year


The turnaround for the career of unified junior middleweight champion Natasha Jonas (13-2-1, 8KO) from the end of 2020 to the conclusion of 2022 has been remarkable. Within the last year, the unified champ went from being just another contender to becoming one fight away from an undisputed champion. This makes her the pick for 3kingsboxing.com 2022 Female Fighter of the Year!

A TOUGH CLIMB

To exit 2020, Jonas had a tough draw with then WBC junior lightweight champion Terri Harper. Though many felt she should have won, there wasn’t much of an outcry for a rematch because Jonas wasn’t seen as having world-level talent. This due to her shocking knockout loss to Brazilian journey-woman Viviane Obenauf two years prior. Therefore, she was still in a position where she needed to win back the fan intrigue she previously had.

Nevertheless, her performance against Harper earned the respect from Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn. The result was an immediate shot at the lightweight undisputed crown against Katie Taylor nine months later live on DAZN. To most fans, this was supposed to be a “cake-walk” for Taylor as they continued to reference Jonas’ knockout loss. To their surprise, Jonas actually gave the champion a tough out. After ten rounds, Taylor walked away with a very narrow unanimous decision victory. This is where fans worldwide started to take note that Jonas has fully recovered from her first defeat. Although, she garnered more attention, her career path was still unknown.

THE RISE!

It all started with a surprise move up two weight divisions after a junior welterweight victory to end 2021. Respected contender and former IBF junior middleweight champ Chris Namus would be the first victim in February 2022. When this fight was announced, the first “eye-raiser” was the sudden jump up in weight. The second was that the bout would be for the WBO title former undisputed champ Claressa Shields previously vacated.

Not much hope of success was expected outside of Jonas’ loyal fan-base. Observers were in for another surprise as she dropped Namus twice before the fight was waived off in the second round. Just like that, Jonas went from a lost contender to a champion to start 2022. But she was far from done!

TAKING CONTROL OF THE DIVISION

Next up was a unification with undefeated WBC champion Patricia Berghult in September. Another “eye-raiser” was that Jonas took a unification as her first title defense. Also, the Swede was known for her boxing ability and was naturally bigger than Jonas. Even staff members at 3kingsboxing.com felt Berghult may have been too much too soon.

Not only did Jonas win, but she did it with relative ease! Now a two-belt unified champion, going for another title with only three months left in the year was surely out of the question…right?

RELATED: Natasha Jonas: “I Would Travel To The USA To Fight Claressa Shields!”

While some fighters would have elected to get a tune-up after achieving such success so quickly, Jonas made another unexpected move by going into another unification. Maria Eve Dicaire had just regained the IBF title after losing it in a bid for undisputed champion against Shields a year prior. The stage was set for a December show-down with three belts on the line. Only, once again, it wasn’t much of a contest.

Much like the Berghult fight, Jonas showcased a superior set of boxing skills to out-wit and and outclass the Canadian champion. To cap off 2022, Jonas started as a junior welterweight with not much direction in her career to a three-belt unified champion! She is in position to get the revenge she has longed for against Harper, who also became a champion from a major jump in weight. This time, it would be for the undisputed crown. If she gets the rematch and wins, this would arguably be one of the best rises boxing fans have witnessed.

WHAT NEEDS TO BE UNDERSTOOD

Many fans may disagree with this pick. This is simply a case of a lack of understanding the odds Jonas had to overcome to accomplish her achievements. Furthermore, a little “bias” would be involved. Fighters like Claressa Shields and Katie Taylor consistently remain the “popular” pick for this award. However, this is not about popularity. It’s more about what was achieved over the course of a year compared to what was achieved previously and the odds that were conquered.

RELATED: Shields: “I Would Love To Fight Harper Or Jonas At 154!”

Sure, Shields became a two-time undisputed middleweight champion and Taylor defeated another top five pound-for-pound fighter in Amanda Serrano to retain the undisputed crown in 2022. However, Jonas was a fighter who wasn’t expected to become a champion any time soon by the end of 2021. Moreover, fans weren’t even sure what weight division she would campaign in as 2022 started. Despite the odds, Jonas consistently showed improvement as the stage got bigger.

The fact that she rose from a lightweight contender coming off a loss to a junior middleweight, three-belt unified champion in one year is very hard to overlook and has to be respected.

By: EJ Williams

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About EJ Will 312 Articles
EJ WIlliams - Owner/Editor-in-Chief/Site Architect EJ is the owner of 3kingsboxing.com as well as the editor-in-chief, site-architect and writer. Follow on Twitter: @3kingsboxing Instagram: @3kingsboxing