This has been proven for Natasha Jonas. She has been a key part of the generation that blazed a path for women’s boxing to reach the highest levels of international sport.
Jones’s role in the sport’s rapid growth has yet to be seen. On Saturdays, live on Sky Sportsshe goes into her second consecutive world title unification fight.
The Liverpudlian was the first British female boxer to qualify for the Olympic Games and at London 2012 she was the first woman to box for Team GB.
She is now the unified WBO and WBC world champion and fights IBF super welterweight titlist Marie-eve Dicaire on Saturday to headline BOXXER: Manchester.
Ten years after her Olympics, Jonas and other London 2012 participants are moving on to professional women’s boxing.
“We set the standard in 2012 I think,” Jonas said. “A bit of a chip on our shoulder, the first time we were included and we wanted to set the standard and every time the stage of the Olympics has improved, the last time. [GB] The team is the best.”
Jonas’ unification bout this weekend follows last month’s record-breaking Clarissa Shields vs. Savannah Marshall event. 2022 has been a breakthrough year for professional women’s boxing. This is the kind of progress that will not be reversed.
“We always knew how good it was. [women’s boxing] We just needed the world to see it. Now we’ve got the platform to do that and once the depth is greater and people keep flipping and flipping, making them athletes. [it’ll continue to grow]” Jones said.
“I’ll be out of the mix by then. It’ll be good to see them step up and push. We’re slowly breaking down all those barriers and they’re helping to do that. We just needed the players. That’s it. Do it and we got it.”
The next generation in women’s boxing is looking up to Jonas. Unified Champion, for example, is an inspiration for Charlie Davison. A GB boxer, Davison returned to boxing after a seven-year hiatus to qualify for the final Olympic Games. Davison, a mother of three, exemplifies a mother at boxing’s highest level in Jonas.
“These women who are professional boxers and they’re doing it. [it shows] “There’s no reason, as long as there’s childcare, or support for the children, there’s no reason why women shouldn’t be able to work like men,” Davison said.
Davison had to seriously consider whether she wanted to continue boxing after the last Olympics.
“They [her children] understand a little more. They know I make it a part of my life. That’s what I do, they understand and they’re really supportive but I have to explain to them that it’s not going to be forever, it’s going to be my last shot. [the next Olympics]Paris, two years at most,” Davison said Sky Sports.
“The dream is still alive, still there, I’ve still got the chance to box for GB,” he continued.
“There are a lot of people out there who would love to box for GB. I thought I can’t just throw it away and if I don’t give it my last shot I’ll regret it in the future. That’s what I hope. Do it – get a medal on it.”
Jones has also played a direct role in the development of the young boxers he has competed with. Caroline DuBois, now a rising force in the professional game, was just a teenager when she competed with Jonas.
“I must have been 15. I think she just came back after retiring after the Olympics,” DuBois recalled. “I just remember. [thinking] Wow so happy to be in the ring with Natasha Jonas. It was her fight with Katie Taylor that really blew my mind and made me think I wanted to go to the Olympics. So it was good for me to go with one of them. I was very happy to be in the ring with him.”
Not that his admiration stopped Dubois from going to Jonas even at that young age. “I have no respect for anybody I step in the ring with,” she laughed.
Hannah Robinson is an amateur who recently left Jonas. That kind of experience helped Robinson improve and secure a place in GB’s elite podium squad.
“I went, worked on things, hung out in a lot of gyms fighting world champions, like Chantel Cameron, Tasha Jonas,” Robinson explained. Sky Sports. “I developed my boxing a lot and worked really hard. So when I went back to GB they could see there was an improvement.
“It opened my eyes, being away from GB at the time. I’m happy the journey has gone the way it has.”
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Robinson has experienced first-hand what makes Jones so effective, even three divisions above his natural weight class.
“She’s got great fundamentals and I think that comes from her amateur pedigree. She’s also maintained her speed, moved the weight. She does the fundamentals very well,” Robinson said. Robinson said.
“She’s a veteran now, she’s been through a journey herself. She’s an inspiration to me too.”
The next leg of Jonas’ journey comes against Dekier on Saturday. Watch their world title unification live on Sky Sports Arena from 7pm.