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Natasha Jonas eyes revenge on Katie Taylor in potential 'farewell' rematch as she dismisses retirement talk

Natasha Jonas takes on Kandi Wyatt as she aims to become two-weight world champion - watch Jonas live on Sky Sports this Saturday ahead of Savannah Marshall's headline fight with Franchon Crews-Dezurn for the undisputed super-middleweight title in Manchester

Natasha Jonas looks for her latest milestone against Kandi Wyatt (Image: Lawrence Lustig/Boxxer)
Image: Natasha Jonas looks for her latest milestone against Kandi Wyatt

Joe Gallagher and Natasha Jonas have developed a recurring back-and-forth: experienced trainer encourages sunset ride while champion fighter seeks to continue fighting. A Katie Taylor rematch seems to serve as mutual, blockbuster, ground.

Jonas points her finger at a mini Jonas - daughter Mela, who precedes to thrust a microphone in her mum's face - when asked for her 'why?'. 'Why' having ended her wait to become a world champion she continues to put herself through gruelling training camps; 'Why' having become unified light-middleweight champion she continues to pursue tough rounds in the ring.

At 39, with belts to parade and a younger daughter by whom to be besotted, the fire to fight remains very much alive.

"Just because I'm a mum, I'm still Natasha Jonas with hopes and dreams and aspirations and fears of my own that I'd like to conquer and overcome," she tells Sky Sports. "She (Mela) is definitely a driving force in that, but Natasha as Natasha wants to achieve things as well."

The trailblazing legacy wasn't necessarily mapped out; by way of her own success Jonas has helped alter the narrative surrounding motherhood in sport.

Jonas with daughter Mela at Wednesday's live workout
Image: Jonas with daughter Mela at Wednesday's live workout

"When you go on your journey and have those up and downs and become a mum and people start looking to you for different things, I suppose that's the way it's gone," she admits. "I do appreciate it and sometimes as females in sport at elite level we don't give ourselves enough flowers to say 'it is a tough job to do, to balance work and home life'."

Speaking from Gallagher's Champs Camp in Manchester, Jonas laughs that Mela has spent two half-terms and an Easter with her in the gym amid preparations for her next fight.

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"When I'm in a camp she's in a camp, when I'm on a diet she's on a diet," she adds.

It counts towards her "big picture", which, as she gears up to face Kandi Wyatt with the aim of becoming a two-weight world champion, includes another meeting with Taylor some time in the near future.

"100 per cent, I need to put my mind at peace, I need revenge!" says Jonas.

Jonas poses with Gallagher after her workout (right)
Image: Jonas poses with Gallagher after her workout (right)

Gallagher agrees, having seen Jonas suffer a narrow-margin defeat in a thriller against the Irish fighter back in 2021.

"I've said to Tasha, 'Your perfect farewell fight is you and Katie Taylor, it doesn't need world titles, it just needs you two, two old rivals over the last 12 or 13 years to have one last dance and go off into the sunset together'.

"I still think it's a competitive fight, it's just a rivalry that we'd like to see again. It was a great fight last time in Manchester behind closed doors and it would be great for the public.

"It would be good for both of them to go out that way, that's me in my romantic mode!"

Gallagher does not shy from admitting he would like to see Jonas walk away, his accompanying smile indicative of the contrasting opinions the two have on the matter.

"Yeah, 100 per cent, I'd like her to go out at the top," he explains. "I don't want her to fight and lose to somebody who wouldn't beat her in her prime. That's the key thing, going out at the right time.

"She got the one (world title) and I said to her in the ring 'you've done it now Tash, do you want to announce your retirement?'... 'No, I want that one!'... 'What, the WBC? Ok. Right, that's it now Tash'... 'No, I want the Ring belt'. That's how it's been, she keeps setting the bar higher all the time, she turned 39 last weekend and her appetite, her knowledge, her improvement, her desire is still as strong as ever.

"I'd like Natasha Jonas to go out at the top, she's got nothing else to prove. It would be a great win, this. It's a really hard fight, Kandi Wyatt has got a new team behind her, she landed good shots (against Jessica McCaskill) and she's got to be switched on.

"If she does it, fantastic, there's nothing more to prove and I would like her to walk off into the sunset. She knows how I feel, I want to make sure she leaves the sport on a high. I don't think people will appreciate what Natasha's done until she's finished her career years later."

Jonas' career erupted in 2022 as she recorded a second-round knockout victory over Chris Namus to become a world champion at the third attempt in February, before beating Patricia Berghult by unanimous decision to become unified champion and stripping the IBF belt from Marie-Eve Dicaire in November to earn the British Boxing Board of Control's British Boxer of the Year award.

The latter marked her most recent outing, prompting question marks over what might come next.

"It's been a bit of a slow frustrating start to the year after such a successful, busy year last year and I wanted to keep that momentum going," she said. "I was brimming with confidence, it was oozing out of me.

"When things don't go your way, it kind of becomes 'maybe it's not meant to be' and that started to creep in but I stuck with it and what a way to start the year, fourth world title fight on the spin.

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"It's tough, the competitor in you wants to keep competing. In my strength and conditioning sessions, my diet, my sessions on the track, everything is improving, it's not like I'm regressing.

"While my body and my brain still can, I feel like I should. Once that stops being the case and I don't enjoy it, that's when I'll start to be open about the conversation with Joe."

Until the curtain closes, Gallagher will continue to soak up every session with one of his most prized students.

"I wish I could train 12 Natasha Jonas', an ideal student, so disciplined, so dedicated, thirst for knowledge and had speed bumps along the way, didn't get deterred and just a nice human being to top it off."

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