Mikaela Mayer has promised a respectful build-up will be forgotten when the first bell sounds in her welterweight world title clash against Natasha Jonas; watch Jonas vs Mayer live on Sky Sports from 7pm on Saturday
Thursday 18 January 2024 15:47, UK
Mikaela Mayer says her respect for Natasha Jonas "will go out the window" once the first bell sounds in their world title clash in Liverpool on Saturday.
American Mayer is challenging Jonas for her IBF belt in the champion's hometown, in a hugely anticipated clash between two of the sport's biggest names, live on Sky Sports.
While the experienced pair have expressed mutual admiration throughout the build-up, at Thursday's final press conference both promised the dynamic will shift once they are in the ring.
"The respect has to go out the window that first round because I know that I'm in her hometown, I may not have the crowd in my favour," former super-featherweight world champion Mayer said.
"This is two quality opponents, we're both at the top of our game, tons of experience, and so we both don't want to lose.
"I have no room to let a round or two slide away, so it's no respect from that first bell."
Jonas, who is seeking to continue a stunning run of victories that have enabled her to become a two-weight world champion, agreed with her opponent's assessment.
"Exactly," she said. "When the final bell goes after 10, that's when you can go back to being the way we were before.
"But from the first to the tenth round, it's business and that's all it is, just business."
In her last outing in July, Jonas produced a brilliant display to stop Canadian Kandi Wyatt, but the Brit is expecting to be pushed to the limit on this occasion.
"I just think it will be a good fight," Jonas said.
"We've both got the IQ and ability to be able to box. We've both got the skill and strength to be able to fight, if we need to. I think our styles will gel to make a great fight.
"I'm not going to be a reactive fighter waiting to see what she pulls out the bag, I'm going to be putting my best foot forward and making her worry about me from the get-go."
With both Jonas and Mayer holding elite amateur pedigree as former Olympians, high-level technical exchanges are expected, particularly by the American's coach Al Mitchell, who said he thinks the fight could be reminiscent of the sport's 1985 classic between Marvin Hagler and Thomas Hearns.
"It's going to be a really strategic fight," Mayer said. "She's a southpaw, I'm an orthodox. Obviously, I have a technician in my corner who's big on strategy, big on technique and he has a game-plan specifically for that which I absolutely have to follow if I don't want to get into trouble after the fight.
"We've been working on it, we've brought in some great sparring partners for this camp and I feel confident."
On her trainer's bold prediction, Mayer added: "He knows there are going to be moments in this fight where I'm going to have to press the pace and we're going to have to fight. And this being her hometown, she's going to fight back.
"We both have the experience. We've been in those fights before where we've had to bite down, we've been in close fights. Both of us want it that bad, and we're willing to go there."
Watch Jonas vs Mayer live on Sky Sports Arena at 7pm and Sky Sports Main Event at 8pm this Saturday. Stream boxing on Sky Sports with NOW