Jonas and Mayer put mutual respect to one side ahead of Saturday night

Natasha Jonas and Mikaela Mayer had the final say at today’s press conference as they addressed the media for the last time ahead of their IBF World Welterweight Title showdown on Saturday, January 20th in Liverpool, live on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland and ESPN+ in the USA.

The ‘Hagler-Hearns’ of women’s boxing was how Mayer’s coach Al Mitchell described Saturday’s world title showdown. Both fighters have remained respectful in the build-up but agreed that all ‘respect has to go out the window’ when they meet in a legacy-defining fight at the M&S Bank Arena.

Natasha Jonas: “So many times we don’t see the best fighting the best for whatever reason. I believe that for me to class myself as one of the best in this era, I have to fight the best. I look at some of the boxers in that list - the Katie Taylors, the Chantelle Camerons - they’ve beaten people in that top ten pound-for-pound list, and for me to solidify a legacy for myself, I believe I have to do the same, and Mikaela is in that list.

“I think it’s going to be a good fight. We've both got the IQ and ability to be able to box. We've both got the skill and strength to be able to fight, if we need to. I think our styles will gel to make a great fight. I'm not going to be a reactive fighter waiting to see what she pulls out the bag, I'm going to be putting my best foot forward and making her worry about me from the get-go."

Mikaela Mayer: "It's going to be a really strategic fight. She's a southpaw, I'm an orthodox. Obviously, I have a technician in my corner who's big on strategy, big on technique and he has a game-plan specifically for that which I absolutely have to follow if I don't want to get into trouble after the fight.

"The respect has to go out the window that first round because I know that I'm in her hometown, I may not have the crowd in my favour. This is two quality opponents, we're both at the top of our game, tons of experience, and so we both don't want to lose. I have no room to let a round or two slide away, so it's no respect from that first bell."

Natasha Jonas: "Exactly - when the final bell goes after 10, that's when you can go back to being the way we were before. But from the first to the tenth round, it's business and that's all it is, just business."

BOXXER Founder and CEO Ben Shalom: “We’ve been on this journey together for 2 years, but for Tasha this is 15 years of graft. To see her now getting the accolades that she’s always deserved is an amazing moment for us. To headline here in Liverpool, to sell how this show has sold, to have murals going up over the city, is incredible. She’s a true Liverpool legend. She means so much to this city, and the city means so much for her - so to bring her back as a multi-weight champion with a dance partner like Mikaela Mayer in such a big fight for women’s boxing is a huge moment for BOXXER, a huge moment for Sky Sports - but for Tasha this is everything.”

Jack Cullen and Zak Chelli reignite their rivalry three and a half years on from their August 2020 contest that ended in a draw. There was no love lost between the middleweight rivals as they prepare to battle for Cullen’s British and Commonwealth Titles.

Karriss Artingstall reiterated her desire to face the best in the division as she eyes a statement win over her Brazilian opponent Lila dos Santos Furtado, while Mark Heffron and Germain Browne both appeared in a confident mood ahead of their clash for English Middleweight Title.

Aaron McKenna is awaiting confirmation of a new opponent for Saturday night after Linus Udofia was forced to pull out of their WBC International Middleweight Title fight with illness.

Former IBO World Champion Jack Massey is back in action against Belgium-based Cameroonian Steve Eloundou Ntere as he returns to the cruiserweight division following his heavyweight clash with Joseph Parker last year.

And local fighters Mikie Tallon and Ste Clarke get their chance to shine on the big stage. 19-year-old Tallon, who is managed by Jonas, takes on Adam Yahaya, while Clarke, from Rotunda ABC, makes his pro debut against Vasif Mamedov.