Natasha Jonas: British Olympian to make professional debut

Natasha Jonas fights Katie Taylor at the London Olympics
Natasha Jonas (r) lost to Katie Taylor in the quarter-finals at London 2012

Natasha Jonas will fight in her professional debut against Monika Antonik in Newcastle on Friday.

The 32-year-old, who was Britain's first female Olympic boxer, faces the Pole after signing a deal with Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Boxing.

Jonas reached the quarter-finals in London in 2012 after winning bronze at the World Championships.

She retired from boxing in 2015 before reversing that decision this year and turning professional in April.

Lightweight Jonas appears on Friday's bill, topped by Josh Kelly's third professional fight against Tom Whitfield.

"Throughout my career I've been breaking down barriers and I've never felt out of place," she said. "I know the drive and determination that I've got inside of me."

Jonas could now be on course for a future bout with Katie Taylor, who beat the Briton on the way to Olympic gold in 2012.

Ireland's Taylor earned a shot at the WBA world lightweight title by stopping Nina Meinke at Wembley in April and Hearn says he is excited by the prospect.

"There is an obvious super-fight with Katie Taylor down the road," he said. "But firstly we want to progress Tasha in the pro ranks and target her own world title. She has looked excellent in camp and I'm looking forward to watching her perform under the lights."

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