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Eddie Hearn: Natasha Jonas will be tough fight for Katie Taylor

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Jonas will challenge for Taylor’s lightweight crown on May 1.

Liam Smith Open Workout - Hilton Liverpool Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images

Katie Taylor is set to defend her undisputed lightweight championship on May 1 against a familiar face in Natasha Jonas. The fighters met at the London 2012 Olympics in front of an absolutely outrageously loud crowd, and the hope is some of that passion will be brought to Manchester for the pro meeting.

Promoter Eddie Hearn tells Sky Sports that while Taylor is never one to turn down a challenge, Jonas will be among her toughest to date:

“Natasha Jonas has got that belief again now. After that performance with Terri Harper, you watch her in the gym with (trainer) Joe Gallagher. They believe they can beat Katie Taylor. She’s punching very hard, she’s full of confidence, she’s fitter than ever. ... This is a tough, tough fight for Katie Taylor.”

The 36-year-old Jonas (9-1-1, 7 KO) looked good in her last fight, a 10-round draw with 130 lb titlist Terri Harper last August. It was a terrific fight and could easily have gone Jonas’ way, and confirmed she’s all the way back from a stunning upset loss to Viviane Obenauf in 2018.

Taylor (17-0, 6 KO) will be the favorite here, but the 34-year-old Irish star has been tested in three of her last four bouts. In 2019, she got a controversial win over Delfine Persoon, and followed that with wins over Christina Linardatou and Persoon in a rematch. Neither of those outcomes were controversial, but the opponents definitely won rounds. Taylor’s last fight in November was a one-sided win over Miriam Gutierrez.

This really could be a show-stealer for the May 1 card, which is headlined by Derek Chisora vs Joseph Parker and also features Dmitry Bivol and Chris Eubank Jr in action. The show will stream live on DAZN in most territories, and also air on Sky Box Office in the UK and Ireland.