September 23, 2020

Harper vs Jonas: Terri Harper questions if challenger Natasha Jonas can handle the pressure

August 04, 2020

WBC super-featherweight champion Terri Harper has warned her rival Natasha Jonas to expect "educated pressure" when the pair face each other in the first all-British women's title fight on Friday.

Harper, who also holds the IBO super-featherweight belt, will be putting both of her titles on the line against Jonas in the second week of Fight Camp, live on Sky Sports.

Despite Jonas' wealth of experience in the amateur ranks, Harper remains confident that she will emerge victorious on the night.

"For me, professional and amateur boxing are two completely different styles," Harper tells Sky Sports.

"We're not going to do anything daft. We're not 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."

In 10 professional fights, Jonas has only lost once and that defeat came against Brazilian boxer Viviane Obenauf, an opponent Harper also knows very well. Harper beat Obenauf on points when they clashed in November but doesn't think it will provide her with an advantage.

"Natasha probably had a bad night at the office. She keeps saying there's nothing I do better than her but obviously I beat Viviane. I'm not going to go off that fight, but I think I've got one up on Natasha."

Harper and Jonas were originally scheduled to meet in the ring in April before those plans were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Yet, instead of taking a well-earned break, Harper continued training throughout.

"I didn't know when the fight date would be so I was cautious about burning out, but I kept ticking over," Harper said.

"As soon as things got lifted, we got straight back in the gym and I've been getting used to that southpaw style.

"Now I think I've got so used to fighting southpaw it will be strange when I have to go back to orthodox."

Harper became the WBC champion in February after defeating Eva Wahlstrom via unanimous decision in Sheffield, and the 23-year-old insists her focus hasn't slipped ahead of her first title defence.

"I've always been dedicated. Even if I was fighting a nobody, I'd still be training as hard," she said.

"But knowing in the back of my mind, I have got something all these girls want gives me an extra push."

Harper's contest against Jonas will headline the second week of Fight Camp and she has described it as an "amazing opportunity".

She said: "There are hundreds of boxers all around the world itching to get back into the ring, I've got that opportunity and I'm also headlining.

"It's a pinch-yourself moment. It's going to be a special memory."

After her fight against Jonas, Harper will switch her attention to her idol, Katie Taylor. Unified lightweight champion Taylor will challenge Delfine Persoon in a highly-anticipated rematch live on Sky Sports Box Office on August 22 and Harper is eagerly looking forward to it.

"I think we've truly been spoilt with that one. It's obvious Katie wants that fight to make it clear that she is the winner and the champion.

"There's a lot of controversy around it but I think this is Katie's time now to quieten everyone. I believe Katie is going to school her on the night."

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