Undisputed Lightweight champion Katie Taylor outlasts a determined Natasha Jonas, and retains titles behind fierce effort in the championship rounds
Manchester, England (May 1, 2021) — Undisputed Lightweight champion Katie Taylor defended her titles against Natasha Jonas in a thrilling bout that served as chief support for Matchroom Boxing’s Heavyweight fight Derek Chisora vs Joseph Parker.
The hard-fought battle showcased Taylor’s championship mettle, but Jonas’ moxie will likely keep the champion from pulling back ahead of two-time undisputed 154-pound champion Claressa Shields. Shields may not face a competitor with Jonas’ skill level.
Taylor (18-0, 6 KOs) started the fight aggressively while Jonas (9-2-1, 7 KOs), a 36-year old southpaw, laid back looking for counter-punching opportunities. Time moves quickly in women’s boxing with just 120 seconds over 10 scheduled rounds for championship bouts.
Jonas came on in the mid-rounds, rallying well until the champion moved inside and fully reasserted in both Round 9 and 10. The action was narrow in the ninth, but the champion appeared to pull away totally as the bout moved into its final 90 seconds. The judges saw the fight tightly, delivering narrow score totals of 96-94, and two cards of 96-95.
The opening rounds pitted the champion’s high level of aggression against Jonas’ patience, as the southpaw tried to time Taylor with counter punches. The action was a bit choppy as the champion had to figure out the proper range to operate from against Jonas’ southpaw stance.
Jonas’ offense came to life in Round 3. She led the exchanges more often, starting with her jab, and late in the round she threw a combination of punches to the champion’s body.
Both fighters landed some strong jabs in Round 4. Jonas’ knocked Taylor off balance briefly.
Taylor remained the busier of the two in Round 5. Taylor connected with punches up top and with a short flurry to the body.
Jonas started off the second half of the bout with a greater sense of urgency. Taylor laid back looking to counter punch early. Jonas went to work landing shots with her lead hand. Taylor came back on in the second minute.
Jonas landed a straight left hand on the champion’s chin in Round 7. The action gained steam quickly. Jonas rallied inside. Taylor worked up and down.
The action exploded again in the second half of Round 8. Jonas caught Taylor, with her lead hand, as the champion came in a few times.
Over the last few rounds, the difference might’ve been a wise adjustment by the champion from Bray, Ireland. The difference in the scoring was razor thin during heated exchanges as both threw wider shots. But Taylor dominated the sequences when she moved inside behind several straight punches.
Taylor landed the bigger, cleaner punches and the effective punching gradually took a toll on Jonas as the contest came to its conclusion. The champion’s will prevailed and in the end it was difference in Jonas becoming a two-time challenger as opposed to becoming a world champion for the first time.
All photos by Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing