Trailblazers: Couch & Jonas on their struggles & victories

Women’s boxing pioneers Jane Couch and Natasha Jonas discuss gender inequality in the world of boxing.

October 7th, 2021

Women’s boxing pioneers Jane Couch and Natasha Jonas sat down this summer and talked about the struggle, determination, and victories that it took to overcome gender inequality in the world of boxing.

When Jane Couch started boxing competitively in the 1990s, it would have been hard to imagine what women’s boxing has now grown into, a sport that is under the spotlight and featured on major cards.

One of the best lockdown showdowns was the thrilling battle between Katie Taylor and Natasha Jonas in May. BBC Radio 5 Live boxing analyst Steve Bunce said:

“We’ve seen some greatness here tonight – we’ve seen some brilliant women’s fights but nothing we’ve seen in a British ring has had that much quality for that long, 20 minutes of 10 rounds of two minutes and not a moment you couldn’t watch and learn from.”

Jane Couch won multiple world titles but was not allowed to fight in her own country until successfully suing the British Board of Boxing Control in 1998. Up until 1998, women’s professional boxing was officially illegal in the UK, and Couch struggled to even be coached.

“She is the pioneer of women’s boxing. She has been a champion for young females like myself to come through,” says Natasha Jones in Eurosport’s ‘Raw’ podcast.

Natasha Jonas became Great Britain’s first-ever female Olympic boxer in 2012. When Jonas was four years old and watched the Olympics on TV she told her mother, “Mum, I’m going to be there.”

You can hear Jane Couch and Natasha Jonas discuss their journeys in boxing in Eurosport’s ‘Raw’ podcast, here.

Natasha Jonas returns to the ring on Saturday, Oct. 9 on the Liam Smith-Anthony Fowler undercard, live on DAZN.