Terri Harper retains WBC and IBO titles after ancient combat ends in draw


Terri Harper retained her World Boxing Council and International Boxing Organisation super-featherweight titles with a split draw against Natasha Jonas, in a historic first world title contest between two British female boxers on Friday night.

The judges scored the bout at Eddie Hearn’s “Matchroom Square Garden” in Essex 94-96, 96-95, and 95-95. Jonas, a 36-year-old mother from Liverpool who represented Britain at the London Olympics in 2012, looked to have edged to victory over Harper, 13 years her junior, over the 10 two-minute rounds.

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Terri Harper retains WBC and IBO titles after historic fight ends in draw

About retains

The second event to be held at Hearn’s Matchroom HQ in Brentwood without an audience lived up to expectation with an all-action razor-tight fight.

The world champion from Doncaster, whose rise from working as a teenager in a local chip shop to world champion has captured public imagination, admitted she “was disappointed being caught easily” and agreed to a rematch. Southpaw Jonas was cut by her right eye in the second round, and then they went to war in the third.

Terri Harper retains WBC and IBO titles after historic fight ends in draw

The moment of the fight was a left-right hook combination in the eighth round from Jonas which wobbled the legs of the champion, but they continued to battle in a contest which was even to the end.

“Hopefully people will be proud of women’s boxing after seeing that,” Jonas said. “I’m so happy, I think I took the fight to her, but let’s do it again.”

As a precursor to the main event, Anthony Fowler – cousin of former Liverpool footballer Robbie Fowler – took his record to 13 wins and one defeat with a dominant, bullying display against Adam Harper, stopping his rival super-welterweight in the seventh round. 

It also emerged on Friday night that the trilogy fight between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder for the British fighter’s WBC heavyweight crown could be rescheduled from its expected date of Dec 19 to February next year because, said veteran US promoter Bob Arum, “it was not looking viable without an audience”.