Are Natasha Jonas And Terri Harper In Early Negotiations?
Great Britain presently has a vice grip on the women’s junior middleweight division. Natasha Jones (13-2-1, 8 KOs) is the unified champion and Terri Harper (13-1-1, 6 KOs) holds the WBA title. The opinion among most pundits is that they are headed toward a fight to determine the undisputed champion at some point in 2023.
WHO DO YOU BELIEVE?
Jonas is promoted by Boxxer, while Matchroom handles Harper. At one time, both were on the Matchroom roster. However, Jonas left and signed a deal with BOXXER in November 2021.
Stefy Bull, manager/trainer of Harper, went to social media to report that Matchroom sent a six-figure offer to Jonas. However, this is disputed by the unified champ. Jonas quickly responded to the post, calling it utter rubbish.
The ladies have fought each other previously. In August 2020, Harper, the then-WBC junior lightweight champion retained that title with a disputed split decision draw over Jonas. From there, both women made drastic changes.
SIMILAR CAREER ARCS
In 2022, Jonas decided to move up to 154. That move has proven to be beneficial. February of 2022 saw the 38-year-old stop Chris Namus in two rounds to capture the vacant WBO junior middleweight title. Next was a decision win unanimous decision win over Patricia Berghult to become unify the WBO and WBC titles in September 2022. In her last fight, the 38-year-old quickly returned to the ring, scoring a unanimous decision victory over IBF champ Marie-Eve Dicaire in November 2022.
After losing the 130-pound title by shocking fourth-round stoppage Alycia Baumgardner in November 2021, Harper made her way up to junior middleweight. In her debut bout in the division, the 26-year-old was impressive in a unanimous decision win over Hannah Rankin to win the WBA title.
HERE’S THE REALITY
One can debate all day whether the offer is legit or not. It’s a literal matter of he-said/she-said. However, the fact that Bull went public to say so is an indication that something is brewing. At the very least, one can surmise that dialogue is taking place.
A Jonas-Harper II battle for the undisputed title would be a terrific draw in England. Women’s boxing is on fire right now. Coming off a fantastic 2022 for female fighters, it would be a great way to kick off 2023. Fight fans have their fingers crossed the fight will happen. Stay tuned 3Kings Boxing for further developments.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.