Olympian Natasha Jonas eager to showcase talent on televised pro debut in Newcastle
By Dev Trehan
Last Updated: 22/06/17 12:06pm
Natasha Jones is itching to show the British public what she is all about when she makes her pro debut on her Friday night.
Jonas' first contest in the paid ranks sees her fight on the same bill as fellow former Team GB Olympians Anthony Fowler, Bradley Saunders and Josh Kelly on the NXTGEN show at Newcastle's Walker Dome, live on Sky Sports 2.
The Liverpool lightweight announced she was turning professional live on Sky Sports News HQ's Sportswomen show in April, following two years of ring inactivity after giving birth to daughter Mela. Jonas faces Polish fighter Monika Antonik on Friday night's action-packed card form the North East.
She told Sky Sports: "So much work has gone on behind the scenes and it has been such a challenge even to get myself back to this level.
"But I've really enjoyed being back in the gym. I knew a lot of the lads in there already and my trainer Joe Gallagher has been brilliant.
"I have had some great sparring. I've been punched by everyone in the gym recently from Stephen Smith to Paul Butler to Anthony Crolla and they are all world title contenders in their own right.
"If the spaces are there the boys will hit them so I couldn't ask for much more in terms of preparation. But I'm there now and that's the main thing.
"Now I just want to have a good debut on big show which I think is almost sold out already. There are a lot of good bouts, it's going to be a great atmosphere and it's going to be amazing to finally get to showcase what I've got."
World bronze medallist Jonas had been expecting to take on Poland's Karina Kopinska, who provided the opposition for both Katie Taylor and Chantelle Cameron on their respective professional debuts.
But Antonik has stepped in due to Kopinska's unavailability, and former EU 64kg champion Jonas is not fazed by her late change of opponent.
"Because my original opponent was never quite fixed on I've kept my preparation quite general even though I'd looked at some footage and had worked on some tactics," Jonas said.
"But these things happens in boxing and in the amateurs we didn't find out who we were boxing next until the day of the draw. It's something that I'm used to and it's not a big issue for me, it is what it is.
"I'm just looking forward to being on a Matchroom show as a home fighter with the crowd hopefully behind me. But on the day it won't be about the crowd, it will be about what goes on onside that ring."
Live coverage of the NXTGEN bill, featuring Josh Kelly, Anthony Fowler and Natasha Jonas will start at 9pm on Sky Sports 2.