Jennifer Han has traversed a rocky road to the biggest fight of her career
In her next bout, former featherweight champion Jennifer Han (18-3-1, 1 KO) will compete on the biggest stage of her career. This is due to facing female boxing super star, former Olympian and undisputed lightweight champion Katie Taylor (18-0, 6 KO’s). It’s an opportunity that the IBF mandatory challenger and six time amateur national champion has worked her whole life to achieve. Birthed into a fighting family, Han opted to try her hand at boxing, rather than martial arts, because she felt the opportunities were more abundant there.
Yet, right from the start, she suffered adversity by losing her professional debut. In fact, in her first seven fights, she had one loss, one draw, two wins and three no contests. Luckily, the strong-minded Texan did not let this turbulent introduction to the sport shake her resolve. Instead Han, 38, doubled-down and trained harder than ever.
Four years, two more losses and ten wins after her last No Contest, Han defeated Helen Joseph to pluck up the vacant IBF featherweight championship title. She would then defend the title four successful times before moving up to lightweight where she defeated Jeri Sitzes by unanimous decision. Han will now remain at 135 to challenge the undisputed queen of the division.
FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION
It should go without saying that Han is overjoyed to be granted this golden opportunity to face one of the premiere faces in female boxing. As she explained to Boxing Social, it was no walk in the park putting herself in this position.
“I’ve boxed for over twenty years and I’ve worked my entire life for this kind of opportunity and I am finally getting it. This is my time! This is what we’ve worked for our entire career and it’s time to show the world. I’ve always been begging the promoters to put me on these big cards and put me on TV and finally this is my time…
I want to fight the best of the best and when they gave me this opportunity, of course I am going to jump at it. This is the biggest fight of my life and I’m just honored and grateful to be in the moment and experience it. And I can’t wait to hear ‘and the new!’”
Naturally, Han would relish toppling such a grand adversary in order to usurp her quartet of titles. Yet, just as much as the titles and glory motivate her, Han finds her greatest motivation in her own children. In fact, the Texan has been out of the ring for the past year and a half due to carrying and giving birth to her second child. Despite the physically draining ordeal, Han is ready to rumble in the names of her sons. Yet, only time will tell if her family drive is enough to dethrone the talented champion, Katie Taylor.
“Actually before my sons I thought about walking away. And then, when I had my first son, he’s the one that brought me back to boxing. He’s the one that motivated me. I mean having him made me mentally stronger. I was already mentally strong but definitely I grew as a person physically and mentally and it’s all because of my sons.”
By: Bakari Simpson