Another weekend, another unification match.
Boxing has been loaded with clashes between beltholders in 2022 and the women’s side of the sport has been in the thick of the trend. It continues Saturday in Manchester (FITE TV, 2:00 PM EST) when a fighter who twice failed to win titles at Jr. lightweight and lightweight attempts to win her third straight title fight at Jr. middleweight.
Liverpool’s Natasha Jonas jumped almost twenty pounds on the scale in the wake of a loss to lightweight champion Katie Taylor to find her greatest successes. Jonas stunned Chris Namus in two rounds in February to win the WBO title and handed undefeated Patricia Berghult her first loss to add the WBC strap in September.
Jonas is looking to make it three for three in belt collecting for the year with middleweight queen Claressa Shields hinting at Jonas as a future foe. Jonas will have to get through a former Shields foe in Marie Eve Dicaire. The winner will be recognized by Ring Magazine as world champion though LinealBoxingChampion.com correctly still lists Shields as the rightful champion of the class.
Let’s get into it.
Stats and Stakes
Titles: WBO Jr. Middleweight (2022-Present, 1 Defense); WBC Super Welterweight (2022-Present, 0 Defenses)
Previous Titles: None
Weight: 149 ¼ lbs.
Hails from: Liverpool, Merseyside, United Kingdom
Record: 12-2-1, 8 KO, 1 KOBY
Press Rankings: #1 (LBC, BoxRec), #2 (Ring, ESPN)
Record in Major Title Fights: 3-1-1, 1 KO
Last Five Opponents: 69-17-4 (.789)
Notable Outcomes, Ring and/or LBC Rated Foes: Teri Harper D10; Katie Taylor L10; Chris Namus TKO2; Patricia Berghult UD10
Additional Current/Former Titlists Faced: None
Marie Eve Dicaire
Title: IBF Jr. Middleweight (2021-Present, 0 Defenses)
Previous Titles: IBF Jr. Middleweight (2018-21, 3 Defenses)
Weight: 152 ¼ lbs.
Hails from: Quebec, Canada
Record: 18-1, 1 KO
Press Rankings: #1 (Ring, ESPN), #3 (LBC, BoxRec)
Record in Major Title Fights: 5-1, 1 KO
Last Five Opponents: 96-12-3 (.878)
Notable Outcomes, TBRB and/or Ring Rated Foes: Claressa Shields L10; Cynthia Lozano TKO7
Additional Current/Former Titlists Faced: Marisa Nunez MD10; Chris Namus UD10; Mikaela Lauren UD10; Maria Lindberg UD10; Ogleidis Suarez UD10
The Pick: Jonas will be the smaller fighter on Saturday and has been since making the move to Jr. middleweight. What she lacks in size she makes up for in the division with superior speed, accuracy, and technique so far. Jonas can be a patient boxer but when she lets her hands go she has an excellent straight left and goes to the body well. Both Jonas and Dicaire like to counter but Dicaire does it in more scattered fashion. Dicaire likes to work off the back foot, looking for long left hands at range. Against Shields and others, Dicaire can leave herself wide open when she misses those counters. Jonas is capable of exploiting those openings and Dicaire likely just doesn’t have the offensive variety to outduel Jonas. The pick is Jonas by decision.
Rold Picks 2022: 52-14
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, a member of the International Boxing Research Organization, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at email@example.com