Natasha Jonas diary and Livefight readers Q&A
Iíve just got back from another competition, this time in the Czech Republic. It went really well and I got a bronze medal. I fought against Belarus, Bulgaria and the last girl was against the Russian. It wasnít the same girl from the test event but a different one, Sofia Ochigava, and sheís even better. Pound for pound sheís rated number two in the world. I started a bit slowly and I think I gave her a bit too much respect. I was pleased with how it went but maybe the score didnít reflect how close the fight was.
Our qualifierís only a month away now! The time has flown by and because weíre always doing something youíre always looking for the next tournament. Youíre not wishing your life away but youíre just hoping itíll come around. We go to Crete for a competition, weíre back for a week and then weíre there.
Last month I agreed to answer any questions www.Livefight.com
readers may have so here we go!
LF: What does your training consist of? What does a typical day involve?
When Iím in Sheffield with the British team (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) we weigh in every morning at 7am and run at 7.30am. We then have a strength and conditioning session at about 10.30am and follow that with shadow. At about 3pm we do bags, pads and sparring.
When Iím back home, I run in the mornings and then do a session at my old amateur club the Rotunda. If I have a competition coming up Iíll also train either Saturday or Sunday.
LF: Do you spar with men at all? Who is the best - either amateur or professional - you have sparred with?
We do spar with men. Definitely Stephen Smith. He hits you with about a million shots and you canít hit him back. I remember getting out of the ring once and thinking ĎI donít think Iíve ever been hit in all my bouts before as much as I was in that one roundí.
LF: Do you watch boxing? If so, who do you like to watch?
Iím not a big, massive fan but I do like to watch the big fights. I think Floyd Mayweather is class.
LF: How do people react when they find out that you box?
Oh, the usual! ĎYou donít look like a boxer!í but what does a boxer look like?! Iíd say itís usually shock or theyíre pleasantly surprised.
LF: How did you first find your way into a boxing gym? Were any members of your family involved?
A lady started ĎWomenís onlyí nights at the Rotunda and she knew my uncle. I was training by myself in my uncleís gym and she told me to come along instead of training alone. Once I went along, that was it.
I probably wanted to spar more than anything. I enjoy the physical contact of it. I wouldnít say I decided it was the sport for me after the first time I sparred that probably happened after my first win. My first amateur fight was about four months after I started. It was pretty quick but my grandad had been a boxer and I had done Thai boxing and Karate so it wasnít just something I fell into, I already kind of knew how to punch and how to block.
LF: How good is Katie Taylor and have you trained or sparred with her?
Weíve boxed! Weíve trained a couple of times. When I was with England we used to go over to Ireland for training camps a couple of times a year. Yeah, sheís good. I boxed her and lost 6-3 in the Strandja competition last year. There was a time when I first came on the scene that I looked at her and thought Ďnobody is ever gonna catch up to herí but slowly and surely - even though sheís still winning the Worldís Ė I donít think thereís that much of a gap. Thereís a bit more competition which is good. Sheís got the quickest hands Iíve ever seen!
If youíd asked me if I could beat her two years ago, Iím not unreal and Iíd have said Ďnot a chanceí. Now? Yeah, I think I could.
LF: If people want to see how good Natasha Jonas is, which fight should they try and watch? Which has been your best performance?
I donít think there are that many online! I think there are only two, I never put them on. I think my win against Cheng Dong in the Olympic test event. I just did a lot of things right.
LF: What has been the best moment since you first began boxing?
Getting selected for Great Britain was big but the first time I ever won the European Union. Standing on the podium with people giving you flowers, getting the gold medal and hearing the national anthemÖ.I was dead proud. I nearly cried. Nearly! I felt myself welling up.
LF: What would it mean to walk out at the Olympic Games opening ceremony?
Funnily enough, me and Tom Stalker were talking about this the other day. I couldnít even put it into words. We go to places and people donít boo you but they donít clap either. To be at home and be the one getting cheered for would just be unreal. The test event was only small scale but even then I felt like I had home advantage.
Iíve never been to a competition anything like the Olympics. Obviously we have the Europeanís and Worldís but itís not on the scale of the Olympics. Itíd be like a childhood dream come true. Itís hard to describe how youíd feel! Itís weird.