Marie-Eve Dicaire loomed over Natasha Jonas as the two went head to head after their final press conference.
It was a reminder that while Jonas should easily be able to make the 154lb limit at Friday’s weigh-in, Canada’s Dicaire has spent her career fighting in this weight class.
While Saturday’s contest will be Jonas’ third world title fight, it is also only her third bout at super-welterweight.
Dicaire intends to make use of that size difference on fight night and during their face-off, her advantage in height was clear to see.
“She also had heels on,” Jonas was quick to note. “And I get why – overexaggerating how tall she was. Because I’ve seen her with her shoes on, like trainers, and the first thing I said to Joe [Gallagher, her coach] was she’s not as tall as I thought she was.
“But obviously when we got into the head-to-head she put her heels on, which made her a little bit taller.
“It was a bit of a mind game.”
One that Jonas is confident won’t work. The Liverpudlian had operated at super-feather and lightweight before her move up to super-welter. She promises she is undaunted by larger opponents.
“Everyone’s taller at this weight. Fighting taller people is not something new to me,” she told Sky Sports.
“[As an amateur] I started off at 75 kilos so this is not something brand new to me. Everyone thinks, ‘She’s jumped up from super-feather.’ I actually started there and went down in my amateur days. Now I’m just going back up.
“The funny thing about weight is it comes in all different shapes and sizes,” she added. “It doesn’t matter about the size.”
Even though she is the smaller fighter, Jonas is adamant she is the more hurtful puncher of the two.
“I don’t think bigger punch is the right word. I think speed and accuracy equals the hard blows. And do I have that? Yeah, in abundance,” Jonas said.
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Saturday 12th November 7:00pm
She showcased her power when she knocked out Chris Namus to win her first super-welterweight world title in February. But Jonas’ most effective tool against Dicaire might be her footwork.
“Move your feet and be smart. You can’t stay around and hold on and let her wrestle you and manhandle you, you’ve just got to be smart and keep moving. Exactly like Namus, kept her moving, I didn’t let her set. I kept on moving so she had to reset and reshuffle every time,” Jonas explained.
“It is going to be hard. It is going to be tough. I’m going to have to put myself in places that I’ve never been in before and dig deep. But I’ve done that plenty of times before.”
Jonas came back from a crushing defeat to Viviane Obenauf in 2018 to give Terri Harper and Katie Taylor close, hard-fought battles before unifying the WBO and WBC titles already this year.
“Obenauf comes and wins and it was a shock defeat that hurt my pride, hurt my confidence and hurt my ego. I had to go away, dissect myself into small little bits and build myself back up but also fixing them mistakes that I was doing in the first place,” Jonas said.
“I don’t think there’s a better story in boxing, if I win on Saturday, it’s some story, it’s some year.”
Victory over Dicaire would not only add the IBF title to Jonas’ collection of championships, it would leave her well-placed for even bigger fights next year.
“I have been in the position before, when you’re on a winning streak there’s lots of opportunities and loads of doors open,” Jonas cautioned.
“When you lose, all those doors shut and I’ve done that before. That’s why I’m so focused on tomorrow.
“Because if it doesn’t happen on Saturday, then all the doors that will open – and we’re talking about Katie, we’re talking about Chantelle [Cameron], we’re talking about [Jessica] McCaskill, we’re talking about Terri, we’re talking about Claressa Shields – if it doesn’t happen on Saturday and I don’t get the result that I want and win in a good style, then all those doors shut again.”
Watch the Jonas vs Dicaire show this Saturday live on Sky Sports Arena from 7pm and Sky Sports Main Event at 10pm.
Tickets available here.