Jonas says fast start and previous experience was vital in narrow win over Mayer

IBF welterweight world champion Natasha Jonas continued to pay tribute to opponent Mikaela Mayer, reiterating that she is among the toughest opponents she has faced in her career following her split decision win to retain her IBF crown. 

Jonas (15-2-1) and Mayer (19-2) produced a thrilling encounter to kickstart British boxing’s 2024 with a fight-of-the-year contender. 

In the post-fight press conference, Jonas credited Mayer for being the best win on her record to date, and said why the IBF champion rated her so highly. 

“I said before the fight even started that if i beat Mikaela Mayer it would be the best win on my record,” Jonas opened her press conference by saying. 

“She [Mayer] ranks in the top two of the best fighters i have fought, Katie Taylor is the only fighter above her skill set wise.”

“She proved that tonight,” said Jonas. “We were both high-class, highly skilled elite amateurs who both moved into the pro, and you saw why she causes a lot of people trouble tonight. “

Jonas said she made a purposeful effort to start the contest fast against Mayer, which was aided by Mayer struggling to get to grips with adjusting to the higher weight.

“I wanted a quick start, and I got it, but I did give away a few of the middle rounds but I finished strong, and that is ultimately what I believe won me the fight,” Jonas said.

“I thought the fight would eventually turn out like it did at the end, not from the very start. Mikaela has always had a good engine when I have seen her previous fights, but I did not think she could bring that to welterweight. 

“There is a lot of extra weight to carry from and I think it took her a couple of rounds to get into the fight because of it,” Jonass said.

“I think my experiences at that weight [in comparison to Mayer] helped me tonight. Joe [Gallagher, Trainer] had me three up in the first three rounds. 

“It was probably her [Mayer] slow start what cost her tonight.”