Sunday Convo: Natasha Jonas' win over Mikaela Mayer sparks heavy debate

With the NFL playoffs occurring here in the States, many of the other sports have taken a back seat so they don’t waste an event, hence why Natasha Jonas (15-2-1, 9 KOs) vs. Mikaela Mayer (19-2, 5 KOs) wasn’t heavily discussed. To the surprise of many, they had a fight-of-the-year candidate, which resulted in a highly debated decision victory for Jonas. The topic was so heavily discussed that the normal posting of the scorecards wasn’t made available by Boxxer, who wanted to avoid even more scrutiny from the fight result, which would take away the shine from their fighter.

The cards were close as one judge gave it to Jonas (97-93), the other to Mayer (96-94), and the last was to Jonas (96-95), which could only be possible if one of the rounds was scored 10-10. This is where the fight fans called for the head of Judge Michael Alexander. The rounds were close, but to say that one of them was 10-10 is being lazy at best. Although fans were shocked by this card, boxing journalist Adam Abramowitz wasn’t, as he pointed out on X that this occurs in the U.K. quite frequently and that there is a cultural difference in how judges are trained there.

Regarding the fight, it had the type of ebbs and flow you would like in a championship fight. Jonas started off with the edge, but by the time the second half of the fight came around, the younger Mayer came on and had Jonas’ face all swollen. Both women had moments as Jonas would land some quick, eye-catching shots, but Mayer would bulldoze her way in and land four or five-punch combinations. It’s a fight worth watching a few times, and maybe your opinion changes each time on who won, or perhaps it doesn’t.

The problem with Mayer is that she has never had the punching power to create knockouts or stoppages, making all her fights against highly skilled fighters close and competitive. However, at welterweight, it seems like her punches have much more effect, and she could potentially earn a stoppage in the future as she looks more comfortable at 147.

Where does Mayer go from here after a great outing that led to her second defeat? The only fight left that can be made for a title would be with the unified champion, Jessica McCaskill, which would be a war. An obstacle to overcome would be that Mayer would have to fight on DAZN, which, if you are Top Rank, shouldn’t be an issue if you want your fighter to get a shot at the two titles.

On the other hand, Jonas made it clear after the fight that this was her last year competing as she would soon turn 40. The fight that she is leaning towards is a unification against Sandy Ryan. That is a big fight in the U.K., but after Saturday’s rumble, many would argue that the rematch is the bigger fight. Will Jonas step back in the ring with Mayer after having to dig really deep for a controversial victory? It doesn’t appear she wants the rematch, as she quickly pivoted to the Ryan matchup during the post-fight interview. But money talks, and it'll happen if there is enough demand for it.

Ultimately, this is a victory for women’s boxing, who have been criticized in the past for lacking entertainment in their fights. Jonas & Mayer produced a great fight, and if boxing wants to keep the momentum going, the rematch will get done.