Improving Jonas aiming to really put it up to Taylor
BOXING/WOMEN'S LIGHTWEIGHT:KATIE TAYLOR will have watched the fight between Natasha Jonas and Queen Underwood certain her bronze medal meeting today with Jonas will not be the scrap Underwood tried to make yesterday’s bout.
In her first steps into an Olympic ring, Taylor meets the more calibrated lightweight Jonas, who yesterday beat the firestorm Underwood 21-13. Occasionally reckless, Underwood fought the way she did in Barbados two years ago, which almost unsettled Taylor in the 2010 World Championships semi-final. Jonas will not fight like the American.
While Taylor beat Jonas in February 2011, the Liverpool girl maintains her improvement since that meeting is sufficient to make today’s Olympic bout the surprise result of the competition.
It was 6-3 last time and narrow enough but the host nation is looking for inspiration wherever they can find it in the sure knowledge that Jonas has pulled the worst draw possible.
“I believe we’re two of the best boxers in the world in our weight and it’s unfortunate that it’s come this early but one of us has got to win,” said Jonas.
“You know Katie’s a fast puncher, she can box, she can fight, she punches hard, she’s quick. I’m going to try and impose my strengths on her and obviously come out on top.”
Taylor’s coach and father, Pete, learned little from yesterday’s contest he didn’t already know.
What Taylor possesses and has shown throughout her four consecutive World Championships wins is her explosive speed, which most opponents cannot match.
The one issue Taylor cannot legislate for is the 10,000 home fans and if she goes into the final two minute round (women’s fight 4x2 minutes) with the scoring close, she should fear the refereeing. There have been a number of incomprehensible decisions in London, with one referee sent home for not stopping a fight when the boxer was down five times in one round and still won the fight. It was the first instance in memory where the winner was carried to the changing room.
“Katie’s the one to beat,” said Pete Taylor. “She (Jonas) was just waiting for the counter all the time and that’s what she does, and she’ll probably employ the same tactics again.
“She will have home advantage as well, but look, I know what she is going to try and do against Katie and we have plans against that.
“I’m not going to say too much about what we’re going to do. We’ll see how she copes with Katie’s speed. She’s (Jonas) the most improved 60kg boxer out there, and I said that at the World Championships. She is improving all the time. She won the test event at the Excel and she won a bronze medal at the Worlds, where she was beaten by Ochigava. She has improved alright, but so has Katie.”
Jonas has to believe in herself and suggested she will not hang back, fearful of Taylor’s known ability. She proved durability against Underwood and an ability to score under pressure. But cautious Taylor rarely leaves herself open.