Natasha Jonas: Liverpool Awaits
The book that could have been. It would be a nightmare for the lawyers. The stories of fights that have come and gone without reward. Legal threats lost fights, tears and plenty of them. On all sides. Backroom wranglings lost in time. Nothing ever comes easy for Natasha Jonas. But just maybe, things are changing.
The fight with Patricia Berghult the WBC super-welterweight champion was signed, sealed and delivered within a few days. A far cry from the months of frustration and time wasted trying to get the fight with Hannah Rankin over the line.
The Rankin fight looked done at one stage. I was of the understanding the fight was agreed albeit not yet signed. But when it became apparent Rankin was going in another direction. Jonas moved on. And quickly.
Jonas will now face the Swedish WBC champion in Liverpool on September 3rd. A hometown return for Jonas. A unification of many things. The fight with Berghult was concluded incredibly quickly. Jonas is no stranger to long drawn-out fight negotiations. She will be pleased and pleasantly surprised by the new world.
The WBO champion waited years for her first world title. A chance to win another belt at her weight of convenience will be welcomed. Jonas at 38, can ill afford dead-end fights. The time left in the sport is limited, she needs to maximise her time. Each fight has to mean something. Has to give her something. The Berghult fight is perfect. A proper fight. A risky fight. But one that comes with high reward.
Berghult 28, unbeaten in 15 fights, holds a win over Rankin. If there are any doubts about Jonas at super-welterweight, a win over Berghult will dispose of them.
Jonas blasted her way to that long-awaited world title in February stopping Chris Namus in two rounds. A surprise to all. Not the win itself, but the manner of it. It gave Jonas a little bit of peace to finally win a world title after two previous desperately close calls against Terri Harper and Katie Taylor. But peace isn’t total satisfaction.
If Jonas adds another belt to her collection in September, it adds options and intrigue to her immediate fighting future.
‘Miss GB’ has made no secret of her desire to move back down in weight and put herself in a mandatory position to fight the likes of Katie Taylor and Jessica McCaskill. But, tiresome rematch clauses aside, the real intrigue comes from whoever wins between Hannah Rankin and Terri Harper. The winner will surely target Jonas.
Jonas has tried to make the Rankin fight on two different occasions and failed. Would she be interested in any further advances again? But if as I believe, Harper beats her, then we are likely to see another unseen chapter of political manoeuvres.
The story has been told many times. A controversial draw in 2020, left Jonas frustrated. The following contract talks even more so. Jonas and Matchroom had a bitter divorce. They say time heals many things and money can resolve the past. But I’m not sure there will be enough money available to heal past wounds. But Jonas and Harper is still unfinished business. Four belts may prove too tempting to ignore. A different kind of peace.
But Jonas has business with Berghult before any thoughts turn to the future and revenge and redemption. Despite criticisms to the contrary, Jonas isn’t afraid of swimming at the deep end. Fighting Berghult is another example. A fight nobody can seriously question.
Jonas once told me: “I’m not afraid of any of them.” She has been true to her word.