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Marie Eve Dicaire: I am heavier but I am also stronger than Natasha Jonas

Marie Eve Dicaire
12
Nov

On paper, Canada’s Marie Eve Dicaire has all the advantages one could dream about when facing the most difficult fight of her career.

With a world title under her belt, facing a noticeably smaller opponent, holding a better record with only one loss (against arguably the greatest female fighter of our time) and more pro experience than her foe, one would think that Dicaire has the wind beneath her wings and that the champagne is already being frappe’d in her room in anticipation for a signature win.

But that’s not necessarily the case.

“Honestly, I don’t see anything after this fight, because my only focus is November 12. Natasha Jonas is my only focus,” said Dicaire (18-1, 1 knockout) in a phone interview after landing in Manchester, England, where she will be facing former Olympian and current two-belt titleholder Jonas in a unification bout on Saturday, Nov. 12. “I’ve been eating, dreaming, sleeping on boxing Natasha Jonas for the past two months, and to me all that matters is Saturday. After that, I know I will be sitting with all my team to see what are the options and what direction are we going to take after, but right now, at this moment, my only focus is Natasha Jonas.”



Not a bad idea, indeed. After all, the supremely talented Jonas was one of Britain’s first-ever Olympians and a trailblazer in her own right, just as Dicaire was in her native Canada. And even though Jonas (12-2-1, 8 KOs) has had her share of disappointments in her career and is coming up dramatically in weight after being a contender in the lightweight region during her early run, Dicaire feels she also has something to prove this time around.

“I think Natasha Jonas is a great fighter. She’s been doing a lot in Great Britain for women’s boxing, so I am thrilled to be facing her in this huge event here in Manchester. For sure, she is a boxer that I need to take seriously, because even though she’s smaller than me, she can be fast. I know she has a very fast right hook, and I know she’s going to be using it a lot. So I am going to be ready to neutralize this.”

Dicaire will definitely have a size advantage in this fight, since Jonas has fought her last two fights at this weight (her WBO title-winning effort over Chris Namus and her unification against Patricia Berghult) in the lower region of her weight limit, never weighing in over 150 pounds for any of her 154-pound title bouts.

Dicaire tags Ogleidis Suarez of Venezuela during their IBF junior middleweight title fight, which Dicaire won by a near-shutout decision, in November 2019. (Photo by Mathieu Belanger/Getty Images)

“Clearly, Jonas is the smaller boxer,” said Dicaire, “and for us [it] is part of the strategy to use my weight advantage. But the thing is, I am heavier but I am also stronger than her. I’ve been working a lot on getting to use this weight advantage, to use this size advantage. So I think it will be an advantage for us in the ring on Saturday night.”

Another advantage for Dicaire, besides being a proven fighter at 154, is that her lack of punching power has perhaps forced her to deal with every possible style of fighting knowing that she will have to find a way to win on points. Which she has done almost all the time so far.

“I think that my biggest strength is my ring IQ,” said Dicaire. “I’ve [been able] to adapt and adjust my style of fighting with whatever situation I am facing. I am a boxer who loves to take her time to analyze what’s going on, and to try to find the breach in every situation. So I think this is one of my biggest strengths in this event.”

The pressure of becoming a champion is also in the past for her, since she managed to win a world title relatively early in her career (in 2018, defeating Chris Namus also, but for the IBF title). And after her loss to Claressa Shields in a competitive unification bout in 2021, she quickly rebounded to defeat Cynthia Lozano for her old vacant IBF belt nine months later, scoring a stoppage win to lift her own old belt once again.

This time, however, there is a different belt at stake. And it does play a big part in her motivation to win abroad.

“I think the Ring belt is the one that challenges me the most of this one,” said Dicaire, regarding the fact that the vacant Ring belt left behind by Shields in her move up to middleweight will be up for grabs in this fight. “It’s the one that gives me more desire. I know the notoriety and the reputation of The Ring magazine, and to me, being rated No. 1 is really cool. But to have the chance to hold this title? I mean, it’s something in my bucket list, and I will be able to achieve it.”

Diego M. Morilla has written for The Ring since 2013. He has also written for HBO.com, ESPN.com and many other magazines, websites, newspapers and outlets since 1993. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and an elector for the International Boxing Hall of Fame. He has won two first-place awards in the BWAA’s annual writing contest, and he is the moderator of The Ring’s Women’s Ratings Panel. He served as copy editor for the second era of The Ring en Español (2018-2020) and is currently a writer and editor for RingTV.com.

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