Natasha Jonas, the WBO super-welterweight champion, wants to make her first title defence in her hometown of Liverpool this September, and she won’t wait much longer for Hannah Rankin to agree to the match.
“They like to blame it on us. I understand there’s a business of boxing but they’re making it difficult,” insisted Jonas. “It’s a long time out [from a fight date in September] but I want to know who I’m boxing and regardless of that, I’m not going to wait around forever for her, if that’s what she wants.”
Rankin, a Scottish adversary, has the WBA title belt and is a natural opponent. The two have thrown blows on social media, but no agreement has been reached.
The Liverpudlian has set a deadline of a week for her next opponent to be confirmed.
“We’re in the era, luckily enough, of one belt just isn’t enough, especially for the females. Everyone doesn’t only want to be a champion, they want to be unified or they want to be undisputed. If I could get an undisputed, that would be me done,” she said.
If it’s not to be Rankin, Jonas has already suggested three alternative names to her promoter Ben Shalom. Marie Eve Dicaire, Cynthia Lozano and Marianne Ahlborg are on her shortlist. Canada’s Dicaire, whose sole career loss came against Claressa Shields, is the holder of the IBF super-welterweight title. That underscores Jonas’ ambition.
Jonas is not finished yet, though winning her WBO belt against Chris Namus on the Amir Khan vs Kell Brook bill in February was a huge milestone for her. While Jonas was the first female British boxer to qualify for an Olympic Games, as a professional she’d just missed out in two previous world title bids. To even get her third chance she had to jump up three weight classes to super-welter. Namus had come in at short notice, but Jonas never expected to stop her with such a spectacular knockout.
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