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Natasha Jonas and Terri Harper: Two British Women Who Own the 154-Pound Division

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  • Natasha Jonas and Terri Harper: Two British Women Who Own the 154-Pound Division

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    By J.J. Alvarez

    A few minutes after 38-year-old Brit Natasha Jonas defeated Canadian southpaw Marie Eve Dicaire on Saturday, November 12, she immediately launched a challenge to American Claressa Shields (13-0, 2 KOs), one of the best pound-for-pound female fighters.

    “She (Shields) vacated the belts, she was number one in the division, she can get down to this weight, but there's other options”, Jonas (13-2-1, 8 KOs) said after beating Dicaire by unanimous decision in England where the winner defended her WBC, WBO and IBF super welterweight belts.

    Shields, 27-years-old and the only boxer, male or female, with the four most important titles in two different weight divisions, unanimously prevailed on September 10th against Brit Savannah Marshall (12-1, 10 KOs). With Shields’ victory over Marshall, she gained the Brit’s WBO belt while defending her own WBC, WBA and IBF belts, making her the absolute queen and undisputed champion in the middleweight division.

    Among the other options in opponents that Jonas mentioned is her compatriot Terri Harper (13-1-1, 6 KOs), the recent victor on September 24th over fellow Brit Hannah "El Golpe" Rankin, who was defending her 154-pound WBA title for the second time.

    If the Jonas-Harper fight takes place, the one who comes out with her arm raised will be the undisputed queen of 154 pounds, considering that between them they have the four most prestigious titles at that weight. It would also be a rematch of their confrontation in August 2020, when after a bitter 10-round battle, the fight ended in a draw.

    On that occasion, Harper put her WBC belt at stake at 130 pounds. Her challenger, Jonas suffered a cut above her right eye in the second round, the result of a clean punch from the champion who had won the belt six months earlier against retired former Finnish world champion Eva Wahlstrom (22-2-2, 3 KOs). After her loss, which was her sixth defense of her 130-pound belt, Wahlstrom announced that it was time to hang up her gloves and dedicate herself to her family.

    Jonas left the super lightweight division after losing by a narrow unanimous decision to undefeated Katie Taylor (22-0, 6 KOs) in May 2021. Taylor successfully defended her four belts (WBC, IBF, WBO, WBA) which are the most prestigious.

    Nine months later, on February 19 of this year, Jonas won the vacant WBO super welterweight title by applying chloroform to Chris Namus. As proof of her superiority, Jonas dropped Namus in the first round and again in the second, when referee Howard Foster stopped the fight.

    More recently, on September 3, Jonas unanimously defeated Patricia Berghult (15-1, 3 KOs) by unanimous decision, retaining her WBO belt and winning Berghult’s WBC belt.

    Following Jonas’ victory over Dicaire last weekend, Jonas stated, "I've had a tough year, I'm going to have a holiday and then we'll discuss the best options in 2023. I have to win to keep all my options open and alive and I did that tonight." Her promoter Ben Shalom said that a fight with Shields is a definite possibility for next year.

    Article submitted by Jorge Juan Alvarez in Spanish.

    Please note any adjustments made were for clarification purposes and any errors in translation were unintentional.

    Image: Jonas (l) and Harper in action on Aug. 7, 2020, Their spirited scrap ended in a draw. Photo credit: Mark Robinson / Matchroom
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