Natasha Jonas v Mikaela Mayer – Football & Racing News – Star Sports

IBF welterweight champion Natasha Jonas will make the first defence of her title in front of her home crowd this weekend as she welcomes former world champion Mikaela Mayer to Liverpool.

Jonas is considered one of the greatest athletes the city of Liverpool has ever produced and will be hoping to cement her place at the top of the welterweight division.

When it comes to female boxing, very few fighters have done more for the sport than Natasha Jonas. As an amateur, she was an exceptional and represented her country at the 2012 Olympic Games and as a professional she has already cemented her legacy by becoming a multi-weight world champion.

Defending her title at home is huge for Jonas but this fight is about securing bigger fights over the next twelve months. At 39, it’s strictly fights that enhance legacy now and the champion and to secure potential fights with Claressa Shields, Katie Taylor, or Chantelle Cameron she can’t slip up here.

Mayer is at a different stage of her career but this is her ticket back into the big time. Since losing her belts at super featherweight in 2022, she has been clawing her way back towards the pinnacle of the sport and if she was to beat Jonas, she would become a two-weight world champion and immediately a target for all the big names in and around welterweight.

Jonas (14-2-1 9KO) is the puncher coming into the fight and she will need to establish that power to get the respect of Mayer and put her on the back foot. Mayer (19-1 5KO) isn’t a huge puncher but she is a momentum fighter. If she is allowed to get into a rhythm, she can be very difficult to stop and she has a natural ability to win rounds clearly.

This is a genuine 50/50 and with some huge fights waiting for the winner, it could turn into a chess match with neither fighter wanting to blink first. Jonas brings all the experience and she will need to rely on every ounce of it to beat a hungry challenger like Mikaela Mayer.

This looks sure to go the distance and the champion should do just enough to claim a huge victory.

In the co-main event, Jack Cullen and Zak Chelli will meet again three years after their first fight. They first met in the heart of the pandemic behind closed draws and they fought to a contentious draw with both fighters believing they did enough to win.

Since the first fight, Jack Cullen has suffered some crushing losses including stoppage defeats to Diego Pacheco and Kevin Lee Sadjo but he rebounded late last year to knockout Mark Heffron as an underdog and that will give him some much-needed confidence heading into this fight.

Chelli has rebuilt his career out of the limelight but has gone 6-1 since the first fight. The one defeat came against Mark Jeffers last time out and it was a fight that he started as favourite but underperformed. He has commented on how disappointed he was with himself in that fight so he arrives in Liverpool this weekend with a point to prove.

The British and Commonwealth titles will be on the line which will bring out more in both men and if the first fight is anything to go by, this could be the best fight on the card. Cullen, who will bring his usual big following, starts as the favourite but despite his recent win, it’s hard to have confidence in a fighter that has been stopped twice in his last four fights.

Chelli is an inconsistent fighter but when he turns up, he can be a tricky puzzle to work out and with the added motivation of the belts, he is a dangerous underdog. Chelli also has underrated power, with seven knockouts in fourteen wins and Cullen can be hurt.

This is a close fight but it’s hard to pass on Zak Chelli as an underdog in a fight as winnable as this.

JORDAN NEILD

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BACK Zak Chelli to win 2pts at 6/5 (⭐


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BACK Zak Chelli to win by KO/TKO 1pt at 11/4 (⭐


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Author: Eugene Morris