Former Team GB boxer Natasha Jonas has confirmed she is making a comeback as a professional and wants to avenge her 2012 Olympic defeat to Katie Taylor.
The Liverpudlian lightweight was a five-times national champion but was edged by Ireland’s Taylor in the quarterfinals in London. Despite announcing her retirement three years later, Jonas is preparing to fight again having watched Taylor and another Olympic champion — flyweight Nicola Adams — take their bows in the paid ranks.
“The opportunity is here now to go on to something different” Jonas told The Times.
“When I said goodbye to amateur boxing I was saying goodbye to everything. There was no other door to go through. You could become a pro and work in Germany but that wasn’t for me — I wanted to be here.
“Now, big promoters like Eddie [Hearn] and Frank [Warren] are signing females and putting them on big shows. It opens another door and gives women another option. I’m striking while the kettle’s hot. You’d be stupid not to at least try.
“It’s been nice to see her [Taylor] doing well and putting women’s boxing on the map. To follow on from that it would be amazing to have a female super-fight in Britain for a world title.
“It broke my heart to lose to her in London. At that time it was the best I had to give but this is the professional game — the head guards are off, the gloves are smaller, I’ve got a new coach and my head’s back on it. The best lady will win at the end of the day.”
New coach Joe Gallagher, who won the 2015 Ring Magazine Trainer of the Year award, is relishing the challenge of mentoring a female boxer for the first time.
He said: “It was about three months ago I got a message from her saying she was thinking of turning pro and would I be interested? It’s the first time I’ve trained a female boxer. It was just something I never saw myself doing really.
“I’ve got a big stable as it is — it takes someone special, unique for me to take them on board. But when Tasha asked me, I was flattered. It was another challenge. We’re in talks with Matchroom and Golden Boy Promotions at the moment. I think things will be finalised within a couple of weeks.”
In addition to her national titles, Jonas won the bronze medal at the 2012 World Amateur Championships in Qinhuangdao.