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Terri Harper to face legendary Cecilia Brækhus in first title defense

Terri Harper to face legendary Cecilia Brækhus in first title defense featured image
NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 24: Terri Harper celebrates with the WBA and IBO World Super Welterweight Title belts after defeating Hannah Rankin in the WBA and IBO World Super Welterweight title fight between Hannah Rankin and Terri Harper at Motorpoint Arena Nottingham on September 24, 2022 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Following the ‘First Lady’s’ back-to-back defeats to current female undisputed Welterweight, Jessica McCaskill, Cecilia Brækhus has now gotten back on the path of world title contention after reports surfaced of her reaching a deal to fight Terri Harper next, the current WBA champion at 154 lbs. Though a date and place have yet to be arranged, the deal is virtually all but finished and the two will face each other in 2023 at some point.

Brækhus (37-2, KO’s), 41, was expected to retire following her two losses to McCaskill (12-3, 5 KO’s), but the first female boxer to become undisputed in the four-belt era – hence her nickname, the ‘First Lady’ – has signaled her intent to reclaim her position as the ‘top dog’ by signing up to fight with Terri Harper (13-1-1, 6 KO’s).

Terri Harper to face legendary Cecilia Brækhus in first title defense image 1
SCHWERIN, GERMANY – JUNE 07: Cecilia Braekhus of Norway celebrates after winning her WBA WBC WBO female welterweight championship title fight against Jessica Balogun of Germany at Sport- und Kongresshalle on June 7, 2014 in Schwerin, Germany. (Photo by Boris Streubel/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Terri Harper is one of only two champions in the Junior Middleweight/Super Welterweight division, and has only as of recently captured the third world title of her career in September of 2022 when she beat the highly-regarded Scot, Hannah Rankin (12-6. 3 KO’s), decisively by UD to become a multi-weight world champion. She had previously been a world champion at Junior Lightweight/Super Featherweight where she had notable fights against some of the best competitors including Natasha Jonas (13-2-1, 8 KO’s), a fellow Brit who is also the only other champion in the division as the unified champion at 154 lbs with the WBC, WBO and IBF belts.

Terri Harper to face legendary Cecilia Brækhus in first title defense image 2
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 12: Natasha Jonas celebrates with the WBC, WBO, IBF World Super-weight belts after victory in the the WBC, WBO, IBF World Super-weight championship fight between Natasha Jonas and Marie-Eve Dicaire on the Boxxer fight night at Manchester Arena on November 12, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images)

The two were tipped to face each other given their positions as champions, the opportunity for them to become undisputed and the history between the two with their first and last fight between them ending in split-decision draw. The potential all-British undisputed showdown has been stalled for now, or might never even appear if Brækhus manages to shock the onlookers who deem her as ‘finished’ and beat Harper en-course to another world title win.

Terri Harper would be defending her title for the first time against Cecilia Brækhus which would pose an enormous challenge to the start of her reign. Having mostly found success four divisions below at Super Featherweight, Harper has already confounded expectations with her title win at Junior Middleweight. A win against the former undisputed Norwegian boxer would be one of the most momentous occasions of her career because of the stakes involved, and the fact she would face an all-but-certified future Hall of Famer in Brækhus.

Though boxing fans – especially British – will likely lament that there will not be a undisputed fight between two domestic fighters, Harper vs. Brækhus will determine whether Harper is truly up to the task of being a champion again at a higher weight class, after previously losing her titles as a champion – losing them to current Junior Welterweight/Super Lightweight champion, Alycia Baumgardner.

Brækhus, whose last fight was not long ago in December of 2022, tested the waters at 154 lbs for the first time, but will need to be at her best if she hopes to net a victory against Harper. Though the bookies will say differently, their fight can safely be considered an intriguing 50/50 fight which features two different but not too distinctly varied styles of boxing, of where the winner will have all the bragging rights to become the favorite in an undisputed fight with Jonas – if arranged.