Posted on 01/20/2024
By: Sean Crose
Natasha Jonas was able to hold on to the IBF welterweight title on Saturday when she won a close and rather controversial split decision over former American titlist Mikaela Mayer. “I thought I did enough to win,” Mayer stated afterward. ” I outpunched her and outworked her, landing clean shots and having her backed up against the ropes.” Suffice to say Mayer felt a second fight was in order. “I think that fight is worth seeing again. I didn’t have a rematch clause on my side,” she said, “but I hope we can get it on again. It’s disappointing, but what am I going to do? I hope Natasha is going to be the standup champion and give me a rematch. I believe I warranted the rematch.”
The fight was exciting, to be sure. Indeed, both fighters were willing to admit as much. “I knew from the first 10 seconds it was going to be a battle and halfway through I thought this is fight of the year,” Mayer said. “She is in the top-two fighters I have faced,” Jonas stated of Mayer, “and she will be devastated with this defeat, but she should use it as motivation to become a two-weight world champion,” Sure enough, Jonas claimed that only the great Katie Taylor proved to be a tougher foe. Sure enough, Taylor remains one of the only fighters in the world to officially hand the 15-2-1 Jonas a loss.
Saturday marked the second loss of Mayer’s 19-2 career, the first defeat coming from Alycia Baumgardner in 2022. Still, there was a lot of good to be said about the American’s performance. Those who wondered how the former junior welterweight could compete at welterweight had their questions answered loudly and clearly. Throw in the fact that Mayer fought as well as she did against Jonas in Jonas’ home town of Liverpool, England, and it’s easy to see why her performance was impressive. It’s also easy to see why some will feel the thirty three year old was robbed. That assertion might be hyperbolic, but the point is clear – many reasonable people thought Mayer should have been the one walking out of the ring with the IBF title in her possession on Saturday.
“We had a rematch clause on her side, not on my side,” Mayer said, “but this is a warranted rematch. I feel like I deserve another shot and I want to go again.”