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Thursday, January 18, 2024

Notes: Natasha Jonas and Mikaela Mayer press conference

Jonas-Mayer and undercard bouts will stream live and exclusively in the U.S. on ESPN+ SATURDAY beginning at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT

LIVERPOOL, England (Jan. 18, 2024) — Two-division world champion Natasha Jonas (14-2-1, 9 KOs) will defend her IBF welterweight world title against former unified junior lightweight world champion Mikaela Mayer (19-1, 5 KOs) this Saturday, Jan. 20 at M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool, England.

In the co-feature, Jack Cullen (22-4-1, 10 KOs) will put his British and Commonwealth titles on the line against Zak Chelli (14-2-1, 7 KOs) in a 12-round rematch of their all-action 2020 slugfest that ended in a draw.

At Thursday's press conference, this is what the main event fighters had to say.

Natasha Jonas

“This is a big statement. We’ve seen so many times that the best don’t fight the best for whatever reason. But I believe that for me to classify myself as one of the best of this era, I have to fight the best. I look at some of the boxers on list, the Katie Taylors and Chantelle Camerons, and they’ve beaten people in the top 10 pound-for-pound list. For me to be able to solidify a legacy for myself, I believe I have to do the same, and Mikaela is on that list.”

“Doors shut quickly in boxing when the results don’t go your way. And we’ve both experienced that now. And none of us want that to happen again. So, to keep those doors open, to keep those opportunities open, and to keep those bigger dreams beyond this alive, I’ve got to focus on what happens on Saturday and make that dream come true.”

“It’s going to be a good fight. We’ve both got the I.Q. and the ability to box. We’ve both got the skill and the strength to fight if we need to. That being said, I think our styles will make a great fight. I’m not going to be a reactive fighter and wait to see what she pulls out of the bag. I’m going to be putting my best foot forward and making her worry about me from the get-go.”

Mikaela Mayer

“It’s not just about the belt. It’s not just about becoming a world champion again. It’s about challenging myself against the best, having those names on my resume and knowing that I did my absolute best to challenge myself against the other great girls in the sport so that I can truly say I’m a top pound-for-pound fighter of this era. That’s important for my legacy and for my fans because I know that these are the types of fights that they want to see.”

“Natasha has a ton of experience. She has that amateur pedigree. She’s gone up against plenty of different styles. And she’s had to learn how to adjust to those styles. Same with me. That’s why having that pedigree is such an advantage. We both have that.”

"It’s going to be a really strategic fight because she’s a southpaw and I’m orthodox. Obviously, I have a technician in my corner who is big on strategy and big on technique and he has a game plan specifically for that, which I absolutely have to follow if I don’t want to get in trouble after the fight.”

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