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Terri Harper: From an amateur boxer to world champion in ten professional fights

Updated: Jun 27, 2023

To celebrate the success of Terri Harper, and the release of our commemorative boxing glove ‘the Harper Elite’, we reflect on Harper’s journey to date.

Terri Harper wearing Unorthodoxx's Harper Elite Women's boxing gloves
Terri Harper wearing Unorthodoxx's Harper Elite Women's boxing gloves

On 8th February 2020, Terri Harper dropped Eva Wahlström in the seventh round and went on to win on UD to claim the super-featherweight WBC world title. This win not only added to her current IBO title but it made her only the second British female boxer in history to win a major world title in boxing, the WBC title. Her success has cemented her legacy as once of the world’s best active female super-featherweight boxers and is reflected in her BoxRec ranking.

Harper’s success is one of the many notable British and Irish female boxers to rise to stardom and join the likes of Katie Taylor, Nicola Adams and Jane Couch.

Harper’s early boxing career

Born in Yorkshire with two brothers and a sister, Harper pursued boxing from the age of 12, after seeing Jack Osbourne box on the Adrenaline Junkie TV show. As an amateur boxer, Terri Harper competed 17 times and secured three national titles before competing at the European Youth Championships. Taylor successfully secured a silver medal at competition taking place in Poland but fell short in the final against Maria Potorokina.

After winning silver at the European Championships, Harper stepped away from women's boxing after losing both of her senior bouts in the sport. The female boxer stated that she wanted a normal life away from the sport initially partially, then away from boxing completely. Following her time away from boxing, Harper had a revelation after seeing Chantelle Cameron boxing and stated “That’s when it hit me, what am I doing with my life?” and she re-engaged her interest in the sport.

Entering the women's professional boxing

Harper resumed training and made the decision to turn professional in 2017. Debuting on the 25th November at the Doncaster Dome, Terri fought a four-round fight against Monika Antonik o secure a points decision. Harper would continue to win her next two fights, against Borislava Goranova and Bojana Libiszewska, both on points. However, the young boxer stepped it up a gear to finish the year off with KO and TKO wins against Bec Connolly and Feriche Mashauri making her professional boxing record 5-0.

The boxing prospect began training with a local trainer and promoter Stefy Bull, a former boxer competing from 1995-2010, now supporting young boxers in Yorkshire. Bull described Harper as a “diamond ready to be polished” with high hopes for her boxing career.

First professional title in women’s boxing

After impressing many in female boxing, Harper faced Nina Bradley, an undefeated Commonwealth super-lightweight champion on 8th March 2019. The two female boxers were now competing for the vacant WBC International female lightweight title. Bradley, who was undefeated in seven fights before, was downed twice in the first two rounds before being defeated by Harper in the tenth via TKO. At the age of 22, Terri Harper had secured her first international title. Before her fight with Nina Bradley, Harper stated that after she wins the WBC she will be looking to challenge for a world title.

First world title and future boxing prospects

After defeating Claudia Lopez via stoppage in May, Harper was challenged by Nozipho Bell for the vacant IBO female super-featherweight title. On July 19th, Terri Harper defeated Bell by TKO in the eighth round at the Magna Centre, Rotherham to win her first world title. Following this victory, there was a great demand for the young boxer from Yorkshire.

Later that year, Harper agreed a deal with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing. The first fight in her Matchroom contract was in defence of her IBO title against Viviane Obenauf at the Manchester Arena. Televised live on Sky Sports, the fight was held as an undercard to one of Terri’s idols, Katie Taylor in her own world title challenge. Harper successfully retained her IBO title via UD. Following this, Eddie Hearn announced Harper’s next opponent, WBC super-featherweight champion Eva Wahlström.

First Major World Title in Female Boxing

At the age of just 23 with only 9 professional bouts to her name, Terri Harper was set to challenge for the WBC’s world title on 8th February 2020. Harper vs Wahlström was broadcast live on Sky Sports as the undercard to Kell Brook vs Martin De Luca at the FlyDSAArena in Sheffield. After dropping Wahlström in round seven, Harper defeated her challenger on unanimous decision to add the WBC to her IBO title. This made history in female boxing with the 23-year-old boxer claiming victory over a boxing champion who is 16 years her senior.

Upon reflecting on her journey, Terri has insisted that her journey in female boxing has been a rollercoaster. She continued to say that she would not be surprised if she shared the ring with the likes of Katie Taylor which would be a great honour.

The future for Harper

Terri Harper’s story if one of a young girl from Yorkshire going on to become a world champion. With just 10 professional bouts under her belt, Harper has a bright future in women’s boxing and beyond. Harper is now set to defend her title in her next fight against Natasha Jonas which was originally scheduled for 24th April.

To celebrate the success of Terri’s journey, Unorthodoxx has created the Harper Elite boxing glove. Made with premium hide leather, the glove is emerald green, with silver trim and secured with black lace, it comes in 12oz, 14oz and 16oz.

About Unorthodoxx and our Women's Boxing Gloves

Unorthodoxx is the UK’s first Women’s Boxing brand that has been created purely for women and has exclusively designed women’s boxing gloves and women’s boxing clothing. Our products and equipment are designed to offer the ultimate fit, protection and durability for female boxers and combat sport fighters. From novice beginners to elite competition Unorthodoxx fight gear offers the best women’s boxing gloves, clothing and equipment.

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Check out Unorthodoxx’s boxing gloves, clothing and equipment

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