Terri Harper v Cecilia Braekhus: Doncaster boxer set to put title on the line in Dublin

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Terri Harper has seemingly been given a new lease of life.

The Doncaster boxer’s run of 12 fights without a defeat came to a crushing end in November 2021, when she was knocked out by American Alycia Baumgardner on home turf in South Yorkshire.

However, stepping up multiple weight divisions appears to have breathed new life into the 26-year-old.

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After winning the WBA Inter-Continental lightweight title against Yamila Belen Abellaneda in March 2022, she stepped up again to prise the WBA and IBO Super-Welterweight titles away from Hannah Rankin.

Harper will have the firm backing of her hometown. Image: James Chance/Getty ImagesHarper will have the firm backing of her hometown. Image: James Chance/Getty Images
Harper will have the firm backing of her hometown. Image: James Chance/Getty Images

Speaking in September 2022 before her match against Rankin, Harper made it clear fighting in the super-featherweight division was a mistake.

She said: "I’m excited, this is the first camp that I can say I’ve really enjoyed, not just because of the weight but everything else.

"I feel I have my chance to become world champion again, I’ve got the fire burning and I’m hungry for it and I know getting the win at the weekend will open even more doors, so I am excited.

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“Me cutting weight to get to super-featherweight, that was reckless, and I was fighting world-class fighters under-fuelled, tired, and unhappy.

"So, when we got this chance to go up the weights, I just knew I would feel comfortable at the weight and go in there knowing I can handle myself.”

Harper now faces the challenge of retaining her WBA light-middleweight title in what could prove to be the sternest test of her career. She is set to lock horns with the experienced Cecilia Braekhus inside Dublin’s 3Arena on the undercard of Katie Taylor’s battle with Chantelle Cameron.

Braekhus is a savvy operator who has held the WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO titles simultaneously and established herself as a bona fide pay-per-view star.

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Harper has weighed in at 150.8lb ahead of the fight, lighter than Braekhus’ weight of 153.3lb. The build-up has been free of drama and antagonising antics, with the boxing looking set to do the talking when the pair begin trading blows in the ring.

At 26, Harper is 15 years Braekhus’ junior, but the Yorkshire star will not be underestimating her opponent. She has proven to still be more than capable of packing a punch and as someone who helped drag women’s boxing into the limelight, the Norwegian commands respect.

Harper, however, is a fearless competitor who will have the firm backing of her hometown.

As an up-and-coming super-featherweight fighter, she worked at a fish and chip shop in Denaby before her meteoric rise to boxing stardom.

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She spoke last September about her use of a 100m stretch of Pitman Road in Denaby for training purposes.

Eighteen months has passed since Harper was brutally knocked out by Baumgardner, a low point in an otherwise glittering career that has established her as one of the most revered figures in the current women’s boxing scene.

She now appears a fighter reborn, rejuvenated by the rise up through the weight classes.

Toppling a giant of the sport in Braekhus would be no mean feat, but a victory would provide a further boost to Harper’s already burgeoning reputation.

The bout will be streamed live on DAZN and subscriptions can be signed up for online.

The ring walk is expected to begin at 9:51pm according to the DAZN website.