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Natasha Jonas rules on Mikaela Mayer rematch plea after thrilling split-decision win

Thriller: Natasha Jonas and Mikaela Mayer contested a memorable title fight (PA)
Thriller: Natasha Jonas and Mikaela Mayer contested a memorable title fight (PA)

Natasha Jonas has not ruled out the possibility of granting Mikaela Mayer a rematch of their thrilling and contentious title fight.

In a pulsating battle at the Echo Arena on Saturday night, Liverpool favourite Jonas provided a successful first defence of the women's IBF welterweight belt she picked up against Kandi Wyatt last summer to become a two-weight world champion.

An absorbing encounter went the full distance and featured several extremely close and difficult-to-score rounds, with Jonas eventually claiming a hard-earned split decision with two judges scorecards of 96-94 returned in her favour and one reading 97-93 in favour of Mayer, the former unified super-featherweight and WBC interim lightweight champion.

The American admitted afterwards that she did not possess the option in her fight contract to trigger an automatic rematch, but expressed hope that Jonas would grant her a second opportunity that fans wanted to see after stating her belief that she had won the bout.

And while Jonas admits that she is open to facing Mayer again in future, she also named undisputed lightweight champion and long-time rival Katie Taylor, fellow two-weight world champion Jessica McCaskill and British welterweight champion Lauren Price as other potential next opponents.

"Of course that will be an option," Jonas told Sky Sports of the chances of a Mayer rematch. "We're going to sit down and see what opportunities are available and I'll choose the best one for me.

"If that's Mikaela Mayer, we'll choose Mikaela Mayer. If that's Lauren Price, we choose her. If that's Jessica McCaskill, we choose her. If that's Katie Taylor, we choose her."

Speaking after her close win in front of an adoring hometown crowd on Saturday night, Jonas revealed that 2024 was likely set to be her final year in the sport as she looks to close an illustrious career with some truly blockbuster contests.

“Unfortunately I can’t be around for ever, this is probably my last year in boxing and we want to make it the best chapter of the book," she said.