Terri Harper Becomes A Champion Again & Calls For Natasha Jonas Rematch
WBA junior middleweight champion Hannah “The Banger” Rankin (12-6, 3KO) and former WBC junior lightweight champion Terri Harper (13-1-1, 6KO) battled for the title.
Rankin’s belief in becoming a world champion never wavered, even after losing four title shots in multiple divisions. She finally captured the vacant WBA title by defeating Maria Lindberg in 2021. The WBA champion will have the experience advantage of having shared the ring with the likes of Alicia Napoleon Espinosa, Patricia Berghult, Savannah Marshall, and Claressa Shields.
Harper is looking to grab a title after losing her championship to current WBC junior lightweight champion Alycia Baumgardner in 2021. She would move up to lightweight for a victory over Yamila Abellaneda before moving up three weight divisions for a shot at Rankin’s title.
THE BLOOD CAME EARLY
Harper, despite coming up in weight, landed the harder shots early by using her footwork and fast hand speed to tag the face of the champion. In round two, she landed a sharp counter right hand that caused a cut over the champion’s left eye.
Rankin tried to make it a dog fight, but it seemed to be playing in the hands of the former junior lightweight champion, who kept landing sharp right-hand counters.
Rankin had some success fighting off the front foot by landing a good straight right hand and then landing another overhand right.
USING RING GENERALSHIP TO TAKE OVER
Harper responded with a perfect right-hand counter that stopped the WBA champion’s momentum. She continued to take advantage of Rankin’s inability to cut off the ring and would jump in with quick combinations and then hold to avoid any return fire.
Rankin came forward fighting with some urgency in the last round and landed a good stiff jab. Harper’s hand speed was a problem throughout the fight as she landed another brutal left hook that brought the crowd to their feet.
The move up in weight served Harper well as she put on the performance of her career. Two judges scored it 98-92, and one had it 97-93 for the newly crowned two divisional champions in Harper.
In the post-fight interview Harper expressed wanting to fight a rematch against unified champion Natasha Jonas, who she beat in 2020 by a controversial decision.
By: Garrisson Bland