Jonas defeats Dicaire in bruising three-belt unification battle

Natasha Jonas defeated Marie-Eve Dicaire at the AO Arena in Manchester on Saturday to unify the IBF, WBC and WBO super-welterweight world titles.

Jonas is one of the most remarkable stories in British boxing this year. At the start of 2022 she was in danger of drifting out of contention. In the months leading up to this fight she unified both the WBC and WBO super-welterweight world titles, three divisions above her natural weight.

In Dicaire Jonas was taking on a rival champion, the holder of the IBF title, who had only lost once before and that had been against the now undisputed middleweight champion Claressa Shields.

Natasha Jonas
Image: Natasha Jonas has won three world title belts in three fights this year

Greeted with huge cheers at the Manchester Arena, Liverpool’s Jonas began quickly. Fighting a fellow southpaw for the first time in her professional career, Jonas targeted the body at first but marked out the target with two cracking left crosses.

Jonas might have been the smaller of the two but her punches were undeniably heavy.

Dicaire however still managed to grind forward and fling her own backhand through before the end of the round.

Jonas had found her power punches early but when she moved from side to side, she could use her footwork and jab to offset the IBF titlist.

Trying to seize momentum back, Dicaire charged in with a sequence of straight punches. But that allowed Jonas’ hooks to fly over the top. The Canadian still managed to uncork a stern cross to the chin, a reminder of the threats she could pose.

In the fifth round, Jonas had to fight her way off the ropes and meet Dicaire head on as they exchanged.

Jonas has to reach up to catch her bigger opponent Dicaire
Image: Jonas has to reach up to catch her bigger opponent Dicaire (Photos: Lawrence Lustig/BOXXER)

A hard lead right hook from Dicaire shook Jonas in the next round. Jonas however would pay her back with just the same punch in the seventh round. Dicaire had to absorb another full-bodied cross and Jonas would continue to find those connections.

Jonas had racked up rounds but it was a hard, physical encounter. Blood would leak from Dicaire’s nose, Jonas was marked up beneath the eye and as she tired Dicaire could find moments to apply pressure.

They tore into one another in the final round, a grandstand finish to the contest. But Jonas had had the edge. She won a unanimous decision, 97-93, 98-92 and a 100-90 shut out on one card.

“As a boxer you’re never fully happy with your performance, it’s why you keep developing, go back to camp and are getting better. But I won, she was No 1 in the division and I’ve firmly established myself as a super-welterweight champion,” she said.

“I knew she was tough, I trained for it to be tough and trained with some of the best southpaws in the game.”

Jonas completes an astonishing rise in 2022, and that story will continue next year.


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