Mikaela Mayer has complained about the positioning of Natasha Jonas’ groin guard when she boxes; IBF champion Jonas responded: “No matter where my shorts are, you hit above the belly button, it’s legal”; Watch Jonas vs Mayer on Saturday live on Sky Sports
Mikaela Mayer believes that the hard work is done and is ready for her face off with world welterweight champion Natasha Jonas in Liverpool
Mikaela Mayer has criticised Natasha Jonas for taking an “unfair” advantage ahead of their IBF welterweight world title fight on Saturday.
The American challenger has complained about the positioning of Jonas’ groin guard, suggesting it covers too much of the target area.
“She’s wearing a men’s cup,” Mayer declared. “She should feel silly, going in the ring with that on. Come on, you shouldn’t have to be told that that looks ridiculous and completely unfair.
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“I think it’s terrible,” she continued. “Where’s your body? You have to have your body exposed to some degree.
“I’m still going to go and rip that body. Again, will they be getting through as clean as they would? Because some of those body shots, that you dig right to the bottom of the stomach, those hurt.”
Mayer thinks boxing regulations should change in this regard, but accepts that won’t happen before their contest this weekend.
“Now this is part of the whole evolutionary process of women gaining a place in this sport. They haven’t had to face the rule of, oh, should women be wearing just women’s cups or are they allowed to wear men’s cups?” she told Sky Sports.
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“Body shots are very significant in boxing. If you can’t land them because they have padding then that should be an obvious illegal piece of equipment.
“As of now she’s been able to fight in that cup. So I can bring it up and I can mention it. But will it get overturned for this fight? I don’t know.
“She’s going to get away with that. It’s definitely an advantage.”
It is however permitted. Jonas has worn that type of groin guard for much of her career without it being an issue.
Jonas explained: “Joe [Gallagher, her trainer] had literally said to me a couple of days before: ‘I think she’s going to start moaning about your groin guard being too high.’ What happened is, in my first few fights I had a female guard and the shorts slipped over the guard.
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“Remember shorts and guards are kind of tailored to men, so my shorts were slipping over my guard, so my guard was down but my shorts were up. At the start of nearly every single round you see me pull them down because it’s not comfortable for me either.
“So then I got the bigger groin guard because I thought at least it will stay,” she continued. “It rides up over my hip so that pushes my shorts up. There’s just no way to please everyone.
“It’s not just me that that happens to.
“We have to wear one,” Jonas added. “It’s not like I’m trying to gain an advantage. It’s just a design flaw.
“No matter where my shorts are, my belly button’s not going to move… You hit above the belly button, it’s legal.
“You know where the belly button is.”
Mikaela Mayer says she has ‘all the experience she needs’ ahead of her IBF welterweight world title fight against Natasha Jonas
Mayer lost the world titles she used to hold to Alycia Baumgardner in London in 2022 on a split decision that she bitterly disputed.
She is now fighting the reigning champion in her Liverpool hometown. But Mayer won’t indulge in any potential concerns when it comes to the judging for this fight.
“That’s always a thing in boxing. I just can’t focus on it. I can’t focus on that at all. The only thing I have to remember is to put my foot on the gas from round one through round 10. Leave no room for question,” Mayer said.
“I know that even more so because I am in her hometown and she will be the favourite. That is in my mind when it comes to the strategy of the fight. Which is fine. As an athlete I can zone in on the strategy. But that’s about it. That’s all I have control over.
“I can’t worry about the rest. Hopefully we don’t see that.”
Mikaela Mayer admits she has 2024 ‘booked in’ and is not anticipating Natasha Jonas spoiling her boxing masterplan
She does believe that if she can become a champion again it will give her a greater ability to set terms, like competing over three-minute rounds as they do in men’s boxing.
“We still don’t have a right to say whether we want to go three-minute rounds. It’s up to promoters dictating that for us,” Mayer said.
“It’s evolutionary. It takes time to carve out these details. But there’s definitely still a ways to go.
“I only have so much pull right now. It’s not my promotion and I don’t have the belts,” she added. “It’s not my country.
“I can speak on these things but I didn’t get any of those things done. So hopefully when I am champion I will have more pull.
“Obviously you have a lot more leverage when you have those belts. Not just when it comes to getting the fights that you want but making an impact.”
Watch Jonas vs Mayer live on Sky Sports Arena at 7pm and Sky Sports Main Event at 8pm this Saturday.