Delfine Persoon’s performance in her first fight with Katie Taylor reinforced Natasha Jonas’ confidence in her ability to beat the undisputed women’s lightweight champion.
Persoon pushed the unbeaten Taylor in June 2019, when Taylor won a debatable majority decision at Madison Square Garden in New York. Taylor (17-0, 6 KOs) unquestionably beat Belgium’s Persoon (44-3, 18 KOs) in their rematch 14 months later in Brentwood, England, but the thoroughly competitive nature of their initial meeting has inspired Jonas in advance of her shot at Taylor on Saturday night.
“I can’t keep referring to Persoon,” Jonas told Sky Sports recently. “But what I will say is that like, you know, I think certain boxers have auras around them, like Canelo, you know, like Taylor, like Lomachenko. And you think like, you know, they’re unbeatable, like they’re indestructible. And then someone comes along and beats them, and just shows that they’re human.
“And I think Persoon has shown that in Katie, that she is just human. And when I step into the ring with her on May the 1st, I’m not stepping into the ring with the aura and, you know, what everybody else believes. I’m stepping against another human.”
The 34-year-old Taylor is listed as a 5-1 favorite to beat the 36-year-old Jonas on the Dereck Chisora-Joseph Parker undercard at Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.
Jonas (9-1-1, 7 KOs), a southpaw from Liverpool, fought to a 10-round split draw with undefeated Terri Harper in Jonas’ last fight. They fought for the WBC and IBO 130-pound championships Harper (11-0-1, 6 KOs) retained August 7 in Brentwood.
Beyond winning four 135-pound titles, Jonas is motivated to avenge her points loss to Taylor at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Jonas, a bronze medalist, lost a 26-15 decision to Taylor in the quarterfinals. Taylor went on to win a gold medal.
“I love it when people tell me that I can’t because I love proving [to] them that I can,” Jonas said. “I love proving people wrong, and I love proving other people right. Me and [trainer] Joe [Gallagher] were saying before the Harper fight there’s nothing that she does that’s better than me. And nobody believed us. Nobody believed that I could win. … But I was saying, ‘OK, we’ll see.’ And that’s exactly the same for this fight. ‘OK, you don’t believe it. I don’t need you to see it. I don’t need you to believe it. But I’m telling you, you’ll see.’ ”
Taylor-Jonas will be part of a Sky Sports Box Office pay-per-view show in the United Kingdom and Ireland (6 p.m. GMT; £19.95).
London’s Chisora (32-10, 23 KOs) and New Zealand’s Parker (28-2, 21 KOs) will meet in the 12-round main event.
Also on the undercard, Russia’s Dmitry Bivol (17-0, 11 KOs) will defend his WBA light heavyweight title against England’s Craig Richards (16-1-1, 9 KOs) in a 12-rounder. In another undercard bout, middleweight Chris Eubank Jr. (29-2, 22 KOs) will face fellow Brit Marcus Morrison (23-3, 16 KOs) in a 10-rounder.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.