Natasha Jonas vs Mikaela Mayer
Natasha Jonas nicked a very close decision over Mikaela Mayer | Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Natasha Jonas nicked a very close decision over Mikaela Mayer in Liverpool.

Natasha Jonas retained her IBF welterweight title with a controversial split decision victory over Mikaela Mayer today in Liverpool.

Two judges scored the fight for Jonas on tallies of 96-94 and 96-95. The third had the fight for Mayer, 97-93, which was also Bad Left Hook’s unofficial score card.

Before digging into the latest questionable decision in the boxing world — and this was more debatable than some out-and-out robbery — let’s give both Jonas and Mayer their credit for a very good fight, a true world title scrap and main event. They didn’t score it.

The 39-year-old Jonas (15-2-1, 9 KO) will likely face calls for a rematch, though, and Mayer (19-2, 5 KO) is going to feel like she got the short of the stick on the road in the United Kingdom.

Mayer, 33, doesn’t have the sort of form and grace as a welterweight that she had down at 130 lbs, where she won world titles, but she has a great fighting spirit still and landed some thudding shots. From our perspective, Mayer seemed to seal the fight down the stretch.

But give Jonas her credit, too. She was in that fight the entire way, and it’s not impossible to see the fight her way, or even as a draw. And Jonas gave her opponent plenty of credit.

“It takes two to tango, and I know this girl here, Mikaela Mayer, is going to be absolutely devastated with that result, because I’ve been there. It feels like the world is over,” Jonas said after the fight.

“She is in my top two people I’ve fought. She’s very, very skilled. Her time will come again. She’d beat a lot of the champions that are already here. So please, please, use that as the motivation to go on and get the title you deserve and become a two-weight champion.”

“I just hope that Natasha will be the stand-up champ that she is and give me another shot at the belt. I feel like I deserve it, and I think the fans want to see it,” Mayer said. “I only think that rematches should happen if they’re warranted. We had a rematch clause on her side, not on my side, but this is a warranted rematch. I feel like I deserve another shot and I want to go again.”

Numbers can’t score fights, but CompuBox did see Mayer landing 149 of 493 total punches (30%), and 137 of 371 (37%) power shots, giving her a clear edge in activity, but not in accuracy.

The more economical Jonas landed 125 of 312 (40%) total punches, and 110 of 236 (47%) of her power punches. Jonas landed 55 total body punches to Mayer’s 38, but both did effective body work. The jabs weren’t a major factor, with Jonas landing 15 to Mayer’s 12.

  • Zak Chelli UD-12 Jack Cullen (115-114, 116-113, 116-112): A brutally boring fight, which favored Chelli style-wise, and he got the win to take the British and Commonwealth super middleweight belts from Cullen. Cullen (22-5-1, 10 KO) is usually pretty fun to watch, but Chelli (15-2-1, 7 KO) was able to impose his will, as it were, slowing this down to a crawl, killing the crowd, nearly putting Tim Bradley to sleep, and — the important thing for him — winning the fight and the belts. It’s now expected Chelli will rematch Mark Jeffers, who won on the prelims today and beat Chelli last July in Manchester.
  • Karriss Artingstall PTS-8 Lila dos Santos Furtado (77-75): A fair score and a good fight. I did not come out of this thinking less of Artingstall (6-0, 1 KO), but more of Furtado (9-2, 1 KO), and also Raven Chapman, whom Furtado took the 10-round distance in a loss last August. Furtado can fight; sometimes fighters have empty records but do have ability, and she’s one of those. And kudos to her going over to the UK twice now to try to do something against celebrated, far more visible prospects. Don’t forget Furtado, this is someone you’re going to see again and again as long as she wants to fight. She is, at worst, an excellent test for rising contenders.

  • Ste Clarke TKO-3 Vasif Mamedov (1:53): Ste Clarke — his name is Stephen but apparently he goes by “Ste,” and I don’t think this is worth making a nickname, so I’m just calling him Ste Clarke — was making his pro debut, having sold a bunch of tickets in Liverpool, so he’s 1-0 (1 KO) after this one. The stoppage came when Mamedov (3-47-5, 0 KO) kept turning his head and back away from the action, so the ref just halted it. That’s fine. It wasn’t interesting or anything anyway. Clarke did show some actual ability for sure, throws a really nice straight right hand, and we’ll see how he develops.
  • Aaron McKenna TKO-6 Mickey Ellison (2:21): McKenna goes to 18-0 (9 KO) with the stoppage win over Ellison (14-7, 5 KO), who stepped in on short notice for Linus Udofia and at least made sure McKenna didn’t waste a camp and got a payday, and also got a little money himself. Ellison was here to scrap, but McKenna, 24, is just too good for him, simple as that.

Author: Staff

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