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Mikaela Mayer: I don't think Natasha Jonas is dangerous for me | 'She's underestimating how big and strong I am'

Mikaela Mayer warns Natasha Jonas: "She's never fought someone at that weight of my skill"; Mayer will fight at 147lbs for the first time when she challenges Jonas for the IBF welterweight world championship on January 20, live on Sky Sports

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Mikaela Mayer discusses the reception she will receive in Liverpool when she takes on home favourite Natasha Jonas in January

Mikaela Mayer hit back at Natasha Jonas' claim that 147lbs will be a step up too far.

Mayer will fight Jonas for the latter's IBF welterweight championship at Liverpool's M&S Bank Arena on January 20, live on Sky Sports.

The American has boxed above super-lightweight once before, in her last bout, but this will be her first contest at 147lbs. Jonas believes her rival won't be ready for this division.

But Mayer warned: "If she thinks I'm too small for that weight I think she's going to be taken aback when she sees me standing next to her.

"I'm big," she told Sky Sports. "I've moved up slowly over this last year and I've taken the steps so that I'm competitive and strong like Tasha. But aside from that I'm still really big.

"I tower over her."

Jonas, who won this title by stoppage, is convinced her strength will stun the American.

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But Mayer insisted: "I spar heavy guys in the gym all the time. I spar strong women too. I don't think her power's going to shock me at all. She's going to be taken aback by just how big and strong I am. I think she's underestimating that.

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Mikaela Mayer discusses her plans for 2024 and explains why she has moved up in weight.

"She's very experienced, very accomplished. Do I think she's dangerous? No. I don't think she's dangerous.

"It's not really the mindset that I have. I think it's going to be more of a strategic fight because she is a lefty. So there's going to be a lot of strategy that goes into that.

"It's a great fight between two fighters that have an extensive amateur pedigree, we both have done our thing in the pros, been in big world title fights and so it makes sense to give the fans and give women's boxing another well-matched up fight."

Mayer maintains that her ability is levels above any of the opponents Jonas has fought at super-welter or welterweight: "Now she's going to be fighting a girl at that weight with the skill that I have.

"I do think she's got a lot more flat-footed since she's gone up to the heavier weights," Mayer said of Jonas.

Mikaela Mayer
Image: Mikaela Mayer is full of confidence ahead of her showdown with Natasha Jonas

"I'm not necessarily hopping about on my toes either. Coach Al [Mitchell] tried to get me out of that as I settled into more of a pro-style. I don't think she's as up on her toes as she was when she fought Katie [Taylor] or Terri Harper. But that's what happens when you go up in weight and you're more settled, trying to sit on your punches.

"I do think I'll have the speed advantage. I know I have the height and the length and I know how to box long. I know I'll have the jab advantage, I'll have the better jab.

"What I lack in power and size, in her eyes, I'm definitely going to make up in ring experience and IQ because she's never fought someone at that weight of my skill."

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