Katie Taylor edges past Natasha Jonas in lightweight thriller, retains undisputed championship
Undisputed women’s lightweight champion Katie Taylor defended her championship titles in a bombstorm 10-round unanimous decision win over a game, competitive Natasha Jonas at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England, on Saturday. The official scores were 96-94, and two scores of 96-95.
The bout served as the chief support to the 12-round heavyweight main event featuring Derek Chisora and former titlist Joseph Parker.
Taylor, who holds The Ring Magazine championship at 135 pounds, had more skill than the Liverpool-based title challenger, but was tested to her wits.
“I’m just delighted with the win first of all,” said Taylor (18-0, 6 knockouts). “What a fight. I think every time myself and Tasha fight, it has been an urgency type of fight.
“This fight was no different. I had a bit of a slow start. I felt a little bit flat earlier, but I thought deep down that I won the championship rounds. Tasha came out with a great one.”
The bout got off to a swift start, with Jonas forcing the Irish star to work from the opening bell. However, Taylor’s class was exemplified in the fourth frame when the 34-year-old connected with a counter left hook that left Jonas shaking her head in frustration.
But the 36-year-old Jonas rallied in the middle rounds. In the sixth, she hurt Taylor with a counter right hand. She then followed up with a strong performance in Round 8, connecting with a solid uppercut that stopped Taylor in her tracks.
But the champion went back to the basics in Round 9 and used her ring craft and experience to bank the final sessions.
“I knew the rounds were close,” she admitted. “I knew I had to win [the championship rounds]. I showed the heart that I needed at the end to actually dig deep and get those championship rounds.”
Jones, who dropped to 9-2-1 (7 KOs), was smiling in defeat.
“I knew it was close,” she stated. “I have shown every time that I’m going to step up.
“People were arguing that we should [have been] at the top of the bill, and we’re going to be a tough act to follow.”
In undercard particulars, lightweight Campbell Hatton (2-0, 0 KO), the son of former Ring Magazine junior welterweight champion Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton, won a four-round unanimous decision over winless Levi Dunn (0-5).
Chris Eubank Jr. (30-2, 22 KOs) outpointed Marcus Morrison (23-4, 16 KOs) in a 10-round super middleweight affair.