Natasha Jonas vs Mikaela Mayer Picks and Predictions: Can Mayer Score Upset Win?

While Natasha Jonas is entering Saturday's fight as the favorite, our boxing picks think it's actually Mikaela Mayer's fight to lose. Find out why — and how to take advantage — below.

Jan 18, 2024 • 08:00 ET • 4 min read
Mikaela Mayer Boxing
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Natasha Jonas is set to defend her welterweight title against former junior lightweight champion Mikaela Mayer in our premier boxing event of the weekend, and it takes place this Saturday, January 20, at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool.

Jonas defends her newly won welterweight title against the prodigious Mayer, who is climbing two weight divisions for a chance to become a two-time champion.

Boxing odds have champion Jonas a narrow -150 favorite and Mayer is a +120 underdog. Here are my free betting picks for Jonas vs. Mayer from Liverpool.

Natasha Jonas vs Mikaela Mayer odds

Method of victory Natasha Jonas Mikaela Mayer
Win outright -140 +110
Win by KO/TKO +1,000 +700
Win by points or decision -105 +190
Draw +1,250 +1,250

Odds courtesy of Bet99 as of January 16, 2023.

Natasha Jonas vs Mikaela Mayer betting predictions

Picks made on January 16. Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Natasha Jonas vs Mikaela Mayer boxing prediction and best bet

Prediction: Mikaela Mayer ML

While Jonas is the champion — and the favorite — fighting in front of a hometown crowd, this is Mayer’s fight to lose.

Even though Mayer is coming up from lightweight to welterweight for a chance at the title, size isn’t as pronounced of an advantage in women’s boxing, and it’s not uncommon for undersized fighters to move between weight classes and still look good. Jonas is walking proof, going from a failed bid at a lightweight title to a junior middleweight champion in a span of just two fights.

The thing about Jonas is that she's 40 years old and still on the hunt for a signature win. While she did claim a junior middleweight and the welterweight title she’ll be defending this weekend, they were both vacant titles against soft opposition. In the past, Jonas has just not been good enough against elite competition, having to settle for a split draw against Terri Harper and running out of gas against Taylor. 

Mayer is the best opponent Jonas has faced in a long time, has excellent conditioning, and will be darting in and out to where Jonas won’t be able to pin her down. Also, Jonas tends to fight off the back foot and isn’t going to be as quick to the draw trying to find a spot for that southpaw overhand left as Mayer works her way inside.

The champ’s experience and acclimation at the higher weight class cannot be ignored. At the same time, Taylor needs to win her rounds convincingly, especially as the expected pro-Jonas crowd will react favorably to any glancing blows she manages to land. All the same, I’m going with Mayer to score the upset.

Prediction: Mikaela Mayer moneyline (+120 at DraftKings)

Best Bet: Beterbiev by KO/TKO/DQ

Mayer is no stranger to fighting in hostile territory. This is her fourth fight in a row in the UK, so she should be aware that every round needs to be a clear win for her. That was arguably the case in her controversial loss to Alycia Baumgardner two fights ago. 

Jonas doesn’t do well when she comes forward, opting instead to hold back and try to have the last shot in exchanges. It’s a taxing style for an aging fighter, especially if she cannot halt Mayer’s activity or prevent her from targetting the body.

The champion should be able to have her moments and land the heavier shots, and unlike Mayer, she may benefit from generous judging unless she’s getting comprehensibly outboxed.

After watching Taylor get a doozy of a gift from the judges in her hometown rematch against Chantelle Cameron last November, I’m hesitant to fully commit to Mayer getting the verdict if she cannot overwhelm Jonas. I’m going to opt for the fight going the full distance as a safe bet, and one to parlay with the rest of your weekend action.

Prediction: Fight to go the distance (-700 at DraftKings)

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Natasha Jonas vs Mikaela Mayer betting preview

Former amateur standout Jonas went from an afterthought to a two-division champion in four fights. After the setbacks to Harper and Taylor, Jonas shot up the scales and captured two world titles, though still seeks the signature win of her career. Jonas is 5-0 since the 2021 loss to Taylor. 

Mayer saw her title reign at junior lightweight end in a cloud of controversy against Baumgardner in October 2022. Unable to secure a rematch with Baumgardner, she’s also been working her way up the scales since then, leaving the junior lightweight division behind and eyeing a welterweight title. The American has been dominant outside of that loss.

Jonas tends to load up and move backward, looking to land an exploding counterpunch to reverse the momentum and allow her to come forward. Mayer must bring a speedy attack to keep Jonas on the ropes while being mindful of Jonas’ considerable power. 

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