First things first. It was a great fight last night in Liverpool, this as reigning and defending women’s IBF welterweight champion Natasha Jonas, 15-2-1(9) slugged it out with former super-featherweight champ Mikaela Mayer, 19-2(5) over ten at times blistering sessions. 39 year old Jonas was rewarded with a split decision, scores being 96-95, 96-94 for Jonas and 97-93 for Mayer – and this is where the stuff we are unfortunately so used to these days will no doubt come in.
Over the coming days, if not sooner, you will very probably hear the following – “Robbery.” “Home cooking.” And “Corruption.”
For sure, we have seen too many controversial decisions over recent years to be able to keep track of. Often times, however, the “R” word is not necessary. It’s the case here, as last night’s fight was pretty much nip and tuck. Still, some fans are bound to strongly suggest Mayer was indeed the victim of some home cooking being served up to her opponent.
Mayer, ever the sportswoman, has not cried robbery, with her merely saying she believes she won last night. And Mayer, who absolutely deserves a rematch, called for one immediately. Jonas, who was full of praise for Mayer after the slugfest was over – Jonas calling Mayer the best she has fought “after Katie [Taylor]” – says this could be her final year in the sport. So, will the rematch happen?
As great as last night’s battle was, combined with the fact that the decision seems destined to be one to be argued over, the sequel should happen, and maybe Liverpool warrior Jonas will agree to fight in America this time? It seems only fair.
“The only person I fought who is better is Katie,” Jonas said of 33 year old Mayer. “I had a good start, [I landed] harder, cleaner shots, and I came on strong at the end. I gave away some of the middle rounds. This is probably my last year in boxing, and we want to make it the best chapter in the book.”
To this end, a rematch would please many fans. But Jonas may look towards other big fights instead, with her having maybe one or two more before she retires.
It’s tough not to sympathise with Mayer after the superb effort she gave last night, this at the heavier weight, which she seemed to be more than equipped to be fighting at.
“I thought I did enough to win,” Mayer said. “I out-punched her and outworked her, landing clean shots and having her backed up against the ropes. I think that fight is worth seeing again. I didn’t have a rematch clause on my side, but I hope we can get it on again. It’s disappointing but what am I gonna do? I hope Natasha is going to be the stand-up champion and give me a rematch.”
So do we fans.
Going into last night’s fight, some people were suggesting we could see a women’s version of Hagler/Hearns. The fight didn’t match the 1985 war (what fight ever has, or ever will!) but it was a great one all the same. As would be a sequel. It’s up to Jonas.