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Boxing: GB's Natasha Jonas announces her retirement
by Michael O'Neill
April 7, 2015
Photo: AIBA

(APR 7)  Team GB’s Natasha Jonas has announced that she is retiring from boxing ‘ with immediate effect’, following ‘a string of injuries’.

Jonas defeated USA’s Quanitta Underwood in the preliminary round of the 2012 London Olympics though subsequently went out to Ireland’s Katie Taylor.

As WBAN reported at the time, that bout produced decibel levels very similar to an aircraft taking off from nearby London City Airport
and after that bout,113.7 – it was a day that Jonas will always remember – for two reasons – one she never expected that women’s boxing would have been in the Olympics and two, that though she reckons it was one of her best ever performances she still lost that bout and with it what turned out to be her one and only chance of winning an Olympic medal.

Today she said: “I have no idea what I will do now but I do have a few interests outside of the sport. It will be nice to not have to get up and run at 6 o’clock every morning.

“Boxing is an extremely tough sport and very few people ever see the training and hard work that goes into it. After doing it for a long time, I decided that it was time to do something else. Being away from camp to recover from my recent injury has given me time to think and I came to the conclusion that I did not want to go back to the demands of full-time training.

“When I started boxing 10 years ago I was an overweight, unemployed scally from Toxteth and, if you’d have told me then that I would win a world championship medal and compete in front of 10,000 people at the Olympic Games, I would never have believed it.”

Today she told BBC Sport that she may take up part-time coaching after a break: "I don't think I've got the hunger and dedication to achieve any more.

"My mind is wandering to other things, and there's younger people coming through that want it a bit more."

Despite not winning a medal, she looks upon the Olympics as a career highlight:

"London 2012 will never be matched, it was surreal. I remember saying to my mum when I was four and watching the Olympics on the TV: 'Mum, mum, I'm gonna be there.'

"It took me 24 years but I still achieved it."

On that August day at Excel in 2012, where her one and only opportunity of a medal vanished she had said of her Irish friend and opponent:

"I'm not going to make any excuses, she's still the best, she comes out on top every time," she said.” I have come here feeling the fittest, the leanest, the healthiest, smartest boxer I could be but she is still the best. I take my hat off to her. There was nothing else I could do. I could've thrown the kitchen sink at her or maybe drive a bus into her”(!)

Others paid their tribute today too:

Long-time friend, Olympic Gold medallist Nicola Adams : “I have trained, competed and travelled all over the world with Natasha for the last five years so will be really sad to see her leave.”

Robert McCracken, the GB performance director, said: “Tash will always be welcome to visit our gym and spend time with our boxers to pass on her knowledge and experience and provide them with an insight into what it takes to win medals at major international tournaments and become an Olympian.”

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