Unbeaten Terri Harper is eyeing up dream fight nights in Las Vegas, and a possible step up in weight divisions, if the 23-year-old can continue her progress by defending her World Boxing Council super-featherweight title against Natasha Jonas on Friday.
For Harper, who features in the second of Eddie Hearn’s ‘Fight Camp’ events in Brentwood, those aspirations are a long way from working at a local the chip shop and stacking shelves at the Co-op supermarket in her home town of Doncaster.
But the ambition of stepping up a weight division will only come to fruition after the fighter has unified the 130lb division as women’s boxing continues to grow in momentum.
“For me, I’m down at super featherweight and I’m fully focused on this division,” Harper told The Sunday Telegraph.
“There are some great names and champions for me to beat. The goal is to unify and become undisputed and that’s when we will definitely be moving up weight. I do believe I can move up a couple of weights. I walk around 10st 6oz comfortably when I’m not in camp.
“The Katie Taylor question, well everyone asks me about that. There a lot of girls out there who want to fight Katie. It would be amazing if it did, because she is one of the greatest fighters and a real pioneer for our sport.”
With promoter Hearn increasing his burgeoning Matchroom Boxing USA stable, there is every chance that Harper will gain the opportunity to fight across the pond. “I’ve always wanted to go to America,” explained Harper. “If I ever go the opportunity to box over there that would be a dream come true.”
Hearn, indeed, knows the women’s boxing market is growing quickly. “I remember when Katie Taylor slid into my DMs to ask me to promote her. I thought to myself ‘I just don’t think there’s a market for women’s boxing’. Out of respect for Katie Taylor and what she’s achieved I had that meeting. But I met her and was absolutely mesmerised by the drive and passion of this individual. Within ten minutes I knew I would do this.”
Hearn told The Sunday Telegraph: “When we talk about women’s boxing, yes I can take a bit of credit but the credit goes to Katie Taylor.
“Katie has opened the door for all these opportunities for other women. Terri Harper initially packed boxing in aged 16 because there was nowhere to go. This sport has enabled a young girl from Doncaster who worked in a chip shop to become a world champion, buy a new house, fill up arenas across Sheffield, fight in front of millions on fight camp and probably if she’s victorious, to go to America and unify…Terri is so refreshing.”