Terri Harper will defend her WBC and IBO Super featherweight title against Natasha Jonas in Matchroom Sports Fight Camp this coming Friday 7th August.
Heading into the highly anticipated showdown, there is a growing consensus among boxing pundits that the upcoming showdown will be a high-level bout between two skilled women. Harper and Jonas are both coming off of impressive wins in the recent bouts.
Harper vows to give Jonas a Tough Night
Terri Harper is determined to keep her belts, and the reigning champion vowed to pressure her challenger for the entire bout. The Yorkshire native, who made her professional debut in November 2017, holds a perfect 10-0 record with five victories coming by knockout.
The 23-year-old star is coming off of an impressive unanimous decision win over Eva Wahlstrom in February. She won convincingly in all scorecards – 98-91, 99-90, and 99-90. Terri Harper was too much for Wahlstrom, who was floored during the seventh round of the bout. With the win, Harper added the WBC title to her list of accolades, she also won the IBO title against Nozipho Bell in July last year, and successfully defended it against Viviane Obenauf last November.
Terri Harper vs Natasha Jonas
Terri Harper promised to go all out against Jonas, and she is unsure if her opponent will be able to handle the pressure, Harper added that she is not looking for a stoppage, but she is planning to break Jonas down through the rounds
“We’re not going to do anything daft. We’re not going to be looking for a stoppage,” Harper told Sky Sports. “I’m going to use my engine that for some reason Natasha thinks could be a bad thing. I’m going to work Natasha all night and break her down.”
Terri Harper added that she believes that her recent sparring sessions with British contender Jason Cunningham will play a big role in being able to successfully defend her title. She said that Cunningham, a former Commonwealth champion, took her to the next level, helping her develop several facets of her game.
Jonas Believes She Has a Great Shot Against Harper
Jonas is aware that most boxing fans and experts believe that Terri Harper will come out victorious in their upcoming showdown, but the former Olympian remains confident of her chances. She knows that it will not be easy because she is facing a younger fighter, but she gave an assurance that she will show the best version of her on fight night.
The 36-year-old holds a 9-1 record with seven knockout victories. Her lone defeat came against Obenauf during their WBA International Super featherweight title fight in August 2018. Jonas went down twice in the third round and was floored again in the fourth round, which prompted her corner to throw in the towel.
But after losing to Obenauf, she reestablished herself with three impressive victories, defeating Feriche Mashauri on points in March last year and then followed by knockout wins against Bec Connolly and Bianka Majlath in July and November last year, respectively. Her last three victories helped her return to contention for a world title once again.
It is worth noting that the only fighter to defeat Jonas failed to beat Harper last year. Obenauf tried to capture Harper’s IBO world title in November, but she fell short after absorbing a 98-91, 97-93, 99-92 decision loss.
While Terri Harper is more experienced in professional bouts, Jonas insisted that the reigning champion has to back up her words inside the ring, saying that she will be prepared to go the distance this weekend. She insisted that the pressure is on Harper’s shoulders because she needs to prove her worth as a champion.
“Every time I’ve come back into boxing there’s always been a reason, like unfinished business,” Harper said via BoxingScene. “To win and to hold the belt would finally sort that unfinished business. That will make me complete. I’ll be prepared, whether it’s one round or ten rounds. I’ll be prepared and I’ll keep going. There’s nothing she does better than me, and I’ll prove it on August 7th.”
Harper remains the favourite to win on Friday
Most experts and boxing fans are expecting a great fight on Friday, but, Terri Harper is still tagged as a favourite to win on points. British Boxing News editor Tim Rickson thinks that experience in big fights will be a factor, pointing out that Jonas has yet to prove that she can perform well in major professional bouts.
He Rickson said, “Both Harper and Jonas are schooled and skilled, and this contest should be a great advert for female boxing. Harper’s momentum and big-fight experience of recent should give her the advantage in this unified world title clash. Jonas has performed on the highest stage in the amateurs, but not yet in the pros,” he continued. “The champion will be expected, by most, to win this 10-round championship clash on points.”
If Harper wins on Friday, she is expected to get more big fights soon. She told The Sunday Telegraph that she wants to fight in the United States, but she will take it one step at a time, for now, her goal is to keep her title on Friday and then look to unify the world titles and become the undisputed champion in the division.
If Terri Harper successfully unifies the world titles, she will consider moving up in weight, expressing confidence that she can also make a lot of noise in the higher divisions. She has been linked to Lightweight world champion Katie Taylor and has admitted that it would be an honour to fight the 34-year-old superstar.
“The Katie Taylor question, well everyone asks me about that,” Terri Harper said of facing Taylor. “There’s a lot of girls out there who want to fight Katie. It would be amazing if it did because she is one of the greatest fighters and a real pioneer for our sport.”
Taylor, who has a perfect 15-0 record, is also set to defend her titles against Delfine Persoon in the Matchroom Sports Fight Camp card on August 22. The 34-year-old Irish icon is the current WBA, IBF, WBC, and WBO Lightweight champion.
Stay tuned with Matchroom’s Fight Camp, each card definitely has its own exciting matchups.