Jonas reveals she would have preferred to remain at 154lbs to face Shields ahead of welterweight world title opportunity

Unified world super-welterweight champion and former Olympian Natasha Jonas has revealed that if she had her way, she would have remained at 154lbs and continued plying her trade instead of dropping to welterweight to continue her run of world title fights.

Jonas (13-2-1) on July 1 will contest the vacant IBF world welterweight title at the AO Arena, Manchester, as part of the supporting cast to the undisputed world super-middleweight title encounter between defending champion Franchon Crews-Dezurn (8-1) & Savannah Marshall (12-1). Marshall, the former WBO middleweight champion, will be seeking to return to winning ways following her defeat to Claressa Shield last October in her pursuit of becoming an undisputed middleweight world champion.

Jonas will face Canadian Kandi Wyatt (11-4) in seeking to become a two-weight world champion, of which Jonas is a huge betting favourite to do just that.

Jonas explained to the Liverpool Echo that if the money were better to face Shields, she would have remained at 154lbs. She explains that the fight will most likely not happen while doubling down on exploring a rematch with Terri Harper.

"It was literally just money that let it down. She’s sick of talking about it, and I’m sick of talking about it, and now that I have gone back down, it is definitely off now," Jonas told The Echo.

"It is four titles in a row, and it has been a bit of a slow and frustrating start to the year, but I will be happy to get it underway by getting back into the ring.

"I would have stayed at super-welterweight if I was fighting Claressa. The fight would have been at 154. I am not a big 154, and I have never really been a 154 fighter; it was just that there were opportunities that I believed I could win that kept presenting themselves. I’d already said there is not going to be a Terri Harper fight, so the only option was to go back down because there was no one else there to fight."