Natasha Jonas believes women’s boxing is not solely relying on big names

The Independent
The Independent

Natasha Jonas believes women’s boxing is awash with rivalries and is not solely relying on Katie Taylor’s much-anticipated showdown against Amanda Serrano to bring in fans.

Taylor, who narrowly outpointed Jonas to retain her WBC , WBA, IBF and WBO lightweight titles 10 months ago, and Serrano will make history on April 30 in the first female fight to headline Madison Square Garden in New York.

With Ireland’s Taylor and Puerto Rico’s Serrano, who has held world titles in seven weight categories, regarded as two of the finest fighters of their era their upcoming bout is among the best that can be made – male or female.

But Jonas believes grudge bouts between middleweight pair Claressa Shields and Savannah Marshall or super-featherweights Mikaela Mayer and Alycia Baumgardner could also be significant in raising the profile for women.

Jonas, who last month leapt three divisions to capture the vacant WBO super-welterweight title with a second-round stoppage of Chris Namus, told the PA news agency: “There’s a few fights in women’s boxing that can do that now.

“Taylor-Serrano’s definitely one of them, Sav-Claressa for me is more important because I’ve invested in Sav, she’s my Team GB team-mate. Claressa, I’ve known very well since she was a kid at London 2012.

“Mikaela Mayer and Baumgardner is a tasty fight. Mayer’s good at the trash talk and we need different personalities in boxing, we can’t have everyone being the nicey-nicey people who are very respectful and polite.

“The more entertaining it is and we are an entertainment sport, the more people will want to watch.”

There remains a major discrepancy between the pay male and female fighters earn but Jonas was heartened by a recent social media post from Serrano, who last year linked up with promoter and fellow boxer Jake Paul.

Ahead of International Women’s Day, Jonas said: “I saw a tweet from Serrano saying she’s now a millionaire, whether that’s because of the Katie fight or because she’s with Jake Paul, whatever it is hats off to her.

“She’s making more money than she ever has before, she’s at a level that we all aspire to.

“I think we’re doing everything that we can. We’re fighting everyone that we can, we’re pushing on, we’re performing. It’s up to now promoters, broadcasters, sponsors, everyone else to back us as they do with the men.”

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