Fight Talk: Natasha Jonas proves good things come to good people

Natasha Jonas has had the year of her life.
Natasha Jonas has had the year of her life, thanks to her world title successes

Natasha Jonas has delivered a lesson in persistence and hanging on to your dreams.

The 38-year-old Liverpudlian fighter beat Marie-Eve Dicaire on Saturday, taking her to three world titles in just nine months. It’s an achievement made more special because she almost quit the sport at one point.

This week’s Fight Talk takes a look at reaction to Jonas’ success, and the other talking points in the world of boxing – with pundits putting respect on Sunny Edwards’ name, and Ricky Hatton sending everyone into a nostalgia overload.

Going belts and braces

Jonas’ best year in boxing has come late in her career. Her rampant run began in February, when she moved up three weight classes to knock out Chris Namus and become the WBO super-welterweight champion. In September, she unified the super-welterweight division by beating Patricia Berghult. And on Saturday, Jonas completed the treble, claiming the IBF light-middleweight title.

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Jonas has set the bar.

It’s all made even more remarkable considering that she almost quit the sport in 2018, after suffering her first professional defeat against Viviane Obenauf.

“To think, at one stage, it was almost over and I nearly walked away,” Jonas reflected after the fight on Saturday.

The next step for her could involve a rematch with WBA and IBO super-welterweight champion Terri Harper, or with undisputed lightweight champion Katie Taylor. Alternatively, she might face undisputed light-welterweight champion Chantelle Cameron or undisputed middleweight champion Claressa Shields.

Right now, however, a good rest is probably well deserved.

It’s always Sunny

Sunny Edwards proved his skillset once again on Friday. The 26-year-old Croydon fighter put on a clinic against Nicaragua’s Felix Alvarado, 33, in what was a third successful defence of his IBF flyweight title.

In winning, Edwards extended his undefeated record to 19 fights.

Whether it’s because he purposely eschews fame, his past links with sanctioned Irish cartel leader Daniel Kinahan, or the fact that he doesn’t compete in a heavier weight category, boxing’s ‘forgotten man’, as Steve Bunce called him, doesn’t always grab headlines.

Nevertheless, many pundits rate him among the best in Britain.

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Do the lighter weight categories get overlooked?

A unification could now be on the cards for Edwards, with Artem Dalakian and Julio Cesar Martinez both undefeated in the flyweight division.

Hats off to Hatton

Ricky Hatton put on a show in his home city on Saturday. The 44-year-old Mancunian returned to the ring for the first time in 10 years to take part in an exhibition bout against Mexican great Marco Antonio Barrera, 48.

A former light-welterweight and welterweight world champion, Hatton has battled with his weight and mental health issues since retiring from boxing in 2012, but was looking in great shape for this one.

Slimming down from 15st 4lb to 11st 6lb, he told BBC Sport that the days of ‘Ricky Fatton’ were over.

Hatton’s ring walk, which featured two nurses and a zimmer frame, offered a little nod to the man’s senior years.

The whole thing was a real nostalgia tour for lots of fans.

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A rare loss for Manchester City didn’t seem to dampen Hatton’s mood.
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We’re in the middle of a Noughties revival.
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High praise.

His son Campbell was in his corner before the fight and there to celebrate in ‘style’ afterwards too.