Yesterday it was finally formally announced the Natasha Jonas is to turn professional, and the former top amateur is aiming for the top.
The Liverpool lightweight has returned from her 2015 retirement and gone pro with Steve Goodwin and will be trainer by Joe Gallagher in what is the latest of a mass influx of female boxing talent to the paid ranks. Her new team have high hopes for the 2012 World Championships bronze medalist and five-time EU medalist, with Steve Goodwin declaring that “she will be the best female boxer in the world.”
The obvious comparison will be made to Wicklow’s Katie Taylor, who turned pro last year under Matchroom Promotions.
The Bray lightweight has raced to 4(2)-0 and looks set to challenge for world honours later in the year. However, one complaint which has been made with regarding Taylor is the difficulty to invest in her career due to a lack of knowledge of her potential opponents.
In Jonas, the Irishwoman now has a ready-made rival and a familiar name considering their meeting in the 2012 Olympic quarter final which Taylor won on a scoreline of 26:15.
Taylor’s name featured prominently at the press conference to unveil Jonas yesterday.
When the Englishwoman was asked about her former foe she was diplomatic and complimentary, telling IFL TV that “Katie Taylor has always set the bar in women’s professional boxing and everyone’s always aspired to be like her. Wherever she goes, whatever she’s done, she’s always set a good example.”
However, the 32 year old promised that she will become the leading light in women’s boxing, and noted how “I’ve said that I’m not here to be in anyone’s shadow, and I mean that – but I take my hat off to everything she’s achieved in boxing, because she has been an astounding ambassador at amateur, and now professional.”
Watch Natasha Jonas speak to IFL TV below: