Her Time To Shine? Harper To Main Event Against Jonas In April
After beating a world champion in Eva Wahlstrom back in February, Terri Harper will get her first spot on the main stage. The 23-year-old will be defending her newly-won WBC Super-Featherweight World Title against Natasha Jonas on April 14. The event will take place inside the Doncaster Dome in England.
“We’re hugely excited for Terri Harper’s WBC Super-Featherweight Title clash against Natasha Jonas, a thrilling first defense for Britain’s new world champion against ‘Miss GB’,” said Head of Sky Sports Boxing Development Adam Smith. “Terri continues her amazing success story, returning to her hometown as a World Champion after defeating Eva Wahlstrom in front of the Sky Sports cameras on an emotional evening in Sheffield.
“I watched Natasha’s enthralling encounter with Katie Taylor at the London 2012 Games, an electric atmosphere, and she will be determined to display her class in the biggest bout of her professional career. It’s another fantastic addition to our Saturday night schedule as we showcase some of Britain’s best boxing talent.”
Since turning pro in 2017, Harper (10-0) has stormed through the competition presented to her. She signed a promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing in 2019, making her debut against Viviane Obenauf that November. She beat Viviane via unanimous decision to retain the IBO Super-Featherweight Title she won from Nozipho Bell.
“We’re not waiting around and I’m excited to go back to the Doncaster Dome where I made my professional debut,” said Harper. “It’s going to be a bit special making the first defense of my WBC World Title in front of my hometown fans in Doncaster – I’m looking forward to the reception that I’m going to receive.
“There’s a bit of pressure on me as I’ve just won the WBC belt and I don’t want to lose it on my first defense. I’m going to train like I haven’t even won it yet. I haven’t had much time to sit back and think about it all, it’s been very hectic but it’s time to get back to the serious training next week.
Harper faces a 2012 World Championship medalist in Jonas. The 35-year-old Jonas (9-1) is the first female Olympian from England. She has won three fights in a row since having her undefeated streak snapped by Obenauf. The southpaw beat Feriche Mashauri, Bec Connolly and Bianka Majlath.
“From what I’ve seen, Terri is young, fit and hungry,” said Jonas. “She’s explosive and quick and I rate her skill-wise as a boxer. I just obviously think I’m better!
“I’m not going to give away any game plan and I’m sure she thinks she’s seen weaknesses in me too, but I won’t really talk about her weaknesses – it’s more about my strengths. If I enforce what I’m best at then what she’s good at won’t be relevant.”
Harper has been known to call Katie Taylor a role model. It just so happens that Jonas has a connection to her, as Katie beat Natasha in the quarter-finals of the 2012 Olympics. A win could bring both women closer to Taylor in a competitive boxing bout.
Under the main event there are plenty of fighters to watch out for. Several bouts include other impressive female fighters. Chantelle Cameron (12-0), who fought four times in 2019, will look for her first win in 2020. A WBC Silver Lightweight Champion, Chantelle is closing in on a lightweight title opportunity. Shannon Courtenay (5-0), who won all five of her fights in 2019, is also looking to forge her own path. She is coming off of a TKO win against Buchra El Quaissi back in December.
Other fights and fighters on the card include:
- Kieron Conway(14-1-1) v. Navid Mansouri (20-3-2)
- Anthony Tomlinson (12-0)
- Dalton Smith (4-0)
- Hopey Price (2-0)
Tickets will be going on sale today, and range from £40 to £140. The event will be shown on Sky Sports and DAZN.