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'Expect Taylor-Jonas to be another classic akin to their Olympic clash'

We preview the undisputed lightweight champion’s long-awaited rematch and Man United’s Premier League meeting with Liverpool on the latest episode of The Punt.


NINE YEARS ON from their last showdown, Katie Taylor will be reacquainted with an old rival on Saturday night. 

Ireland’s global superstar faced British fighter Natasha Jonas en route to claiming Olympic gold at the 2012 London Games. 

Much has changed in the meantime, but one thing has remained consistent — Taylor’s ability to defeat any opponent put in front of her. 

The undisputed lightweight champion has agreed a long-awaited rematch with Jonas — this time in the professional ranks — where she will defend her WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO titles in Manchester.

In the latest episode of The Punt — our monthly show sponsored by William Hill that focuses on the major sporting events — Gavin Cooney and Gavan Casey are joined by boxing journalist Joe O’Neill to preview Taylor v Jonas.

“Can we expect another classic akin to their Olympic clash?” says Gavan Casey. “I think so. 

“There is often a case of Katie coming down a level to her opponents in order to entertain. I’m not saying she is leagues above Natasha Jonas, who is a fantastic fighter and maybe the best pure boxer that Katie has faced.

But I do think Katie is a better fighter and if the invitation is there for a tear-up, even without fans present, Katie usually accepts it. 

“I’d anticipate it being a very entertaining fight as Jonas also has the capacity to entertain. When you go back to that 2012 fight, it’s kind of how I expect it to play out this weekend but in a different guise in that it was an amateur points-scoring system at that time.

“That was a fun fight throughout the four rounds but there was a sense that Katie was in marginal control of it, always having her nose ahead. I see it playing out similarly this weekend.”

Their bout will be followed by Derek Chisora’s heavyweight match-up with Joseph Parker, who has Irish boxing legend Andy Lee in his corner this time around.  

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There is Irish interest elsewhere as Belfast’s James Tennyson is in action earlier in the night and Gavan recommends that you tune in to watch the “knockout artist”.

katie-taylor-celebrates-victory Taylor celebrating her victory over Jonas back in 2012. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Later in the show, football journalist David Sneyd drops by to preview the Premier League clash between Manchester United and Liverpool.

However, in light of last week’s failed Super League breakaway, he explains why the game should be secondary on Sunday as supporters plan more protests to vent their anger at the clubs’ American owners.  

This episode of The Punt is also available in audio-only form wherever you get your podcasts.

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