At 23, Terri Harper has been groomed to be Matchroom Boxing’s next big thing. The WBC and IBO Super-Featherweight Champion will look to continue her rise to the top as she main events a show that doesn’t have any fans. Harper won’t let that stop her though.
Eddie Hearn will be hosting fights in the backyard of Matchroom Boxing’s U.K. office through August. Dubbed “Matchroom Fight Camp”, Harper (10-0) will be headlining the second fight card there, facing Olympian Natasha Jonas. The fight will air on DAZN this Friday, August 7.
One of the key differences between the two is their amateur careers; Harper only competed 17 times while Jonas (9-1) has a 51-24 amateur record. Jonas has more experience; winning bronze in the 2012 World Championships and silver in the 2014 European Championships. She also made it to the quarter-finals in the 2012 Olympic Games, losing to Harper’s hero Katie Taylor. Harper is looking past all of that and is in the now.
“For me, professional and amateur boxing are two completely different styles,” said Harper. “We’re not going to do anything daft. We’re not just going to be looking for a stoppage. 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.”
Since turning pro in 2017, Harper (10-0) has become a huge commodity in the boxing world. She signed a promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing in 2019, making her debut against Viviane Obenauf that November. She beat Obenauf via unanimous decision to retain the IBO Super-Featherweight Title she won from Nozipho Bell. In the biggest fight of her career so far, Harper beat Eva Wahlstrom this February to win the WBC Super-Featherweight Title.
Jonas turned professional in 2017 and had her six-fight win streak snapped by Obenauf. As a result, she lost the WBA International Super-Featherweight title. She has since won three in a row, last beating Bianka Majlath. Harper believes the loss against Obenauf separates them. She also believes in her skills well enough to increase her five wins via knockout.
“Tasha gets caught quite a lot and I’m a big strong Super-Featherweight,” Harper went on to say. “When I get in the ring I’m easily a good 10 or 12 pounds heavier than what I was at the weigh-in the day before. I’ve got a bit of meat behind my punches and I strongly believe I could get a stoppage over Tasha.
“She keeps saying there’s nothing I do better than her but obviously I beat Viviane Obenauf. I’m not going to go off that fight, but I think I’ve got one up on Natasha. Every fight I’m having I’m always thinking about that next step and reaching the next level. I enjoy the risks but I feel I have great momentum and I can’t see anything stopping me at the minute.”
With future goals on her mind, like fighting Taylor, Mikaela Mayer, and in America in general, Harper is ready for whatever comes her way. An established amateur star, like Jonas, is the next step in her journey to the top.