Natasha Jonas is confident that Terri Harper won’t be able to deal with ‘the best version’ of her as the Super-Featherweights prepare to meet in a historic clash on Week 2 of Matchroom Fight Camp from Brentwood, Essex on Friday, August 7. The fight will be shown live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.
Harper puts her WBC, and IBO crowns on the line against former Team GB standout Jonas (9-1, 7 KOs). This is a keenly-anticipated main event that will see two British female fighters compete against each other for a World Title for the first time in the sport’s history.
Jonas, Great Britain’s first-ever Olympic female boxer, bounced back from her sole pro career loss against Viviane Obenauf. She’s had three rebuilding wins over Feriche Mashauri, Bec Connolly and Bianka Majlath, and the World Amateur Bronze Medallist believes all of the pressure will be on the shoulders of the younger Harper.
“She’s young, she’s hungry, and proved she could do ten rounds,” said Jonas. “She’s fit, but I also think that some of those things can be your undoing when you’re young. Sometimes you’re a bit naive; you can be a bit overeager when you’re hungry. She’s been talking about stopping the fight early so we’ll see. That’s all I can say.
“She’s done everything asked of her. She’s beaten people I couldn’t. She’s beaten experienced girls like Eva Wahlstrom. She takes the title, she’s got the title, and I’ve just got to take that off her. Hats off to her for everything she did. I’ve got nothing wrong to say about her. I’m realistic. I’ve just got to bring the best version of me, and I don’t think she can deal with that.
“I think she’s the bookies’ favorite. Judging by some social media comments I’ve seen, she’s possibly edging it with the fans too. There’s no pressure on me. She put out a statement the other day saying that there is, but I don’t believe there is. She’s the Champion; she’s got to keep hold of it, and been very vocal about how she’s going to keep hold of it. She’s got to go out and prove it.
“Every time I’ve come back into boxing, there’s always been a reason, like unfinished business. To win and to hold the belt would finally sort that unfinished business. That will make me complete. I’ll be prepared, whether it’s one round or ten rounds. I’ll be prepared, and I’ll keep going. There’s nothing she does better than me, and I’ll prove it on August 7.”
Harper vs. Jonas tops Week 2 of Matchroom Camp.
- Bournemouth’s Chris Billam-Smith (10-1, 9 KOs) defends his Commonwealth Title against undefeated Cardiff man Nathan Thorley (14-0, 6 KOs)
- Liverpool Super-Welterweight Anthony Fowler (12-1, 9 KOs) gets his second outing of the year against Adam Harper (9-1)
- Oldham Lightweight prospect Aqib Fiaz (5-0) steps up against Birmingham’s former Midlands Area Champion Kane Baker (13-6)
- Leeds Featherweight prospect Hopey Price (2-0) fights on UK soil again following his win on the huge Andy Ruiz vs. Anthony Joshua 2 show in Saudi Arabia.
THORLEY: THIS IS MY BREAKTHROUGH NIGHT
Nathan Thorley is determined to announce himself on the big stage when he challenges Bournemouth’s Chris Billam-Smith for the Commonwealth Cruiserweight Title on Week 2 of Matchroom Fight Camp in Brentwood, Essex on Friday August 7, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.
‘Thunder’ (14-0, 6 KOs) won Welsh honours at Light-Heavyweight before admitting defeat in his battle with the scales and moving up to Cruiserweight where he has scored points wins over Lithuanian imports Remigijus Ziausys and Dmitrij Kalinovskij.
The 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist is confident fans will see the best version of him when he steps up in class to face ‘The Gentleman’ in what he hopes will be the first of many title fights at his new weight.
“I’ve had one fight where my opponent was coming to win, and he got knocked out in the second round,” said Thorley. “I’m taking nothing away from Jermaine Asare, he’s a tidy fighter. After that I went back to fighting journeymen again – opponents who are only trying to survive in there. That’s not what I want out of this sport. I want to fight the best to be the best.
“The division is massive at the moment, it never used to be, but now there’s plenty of fights out there for me that I want to take and will take. Chris is a good fighter. He’s got a good shot selection to the body and head. He’s a fit, strong, physical guy so I’ve got my work cut out. It’s not going to be an easy night. I’m really looking forward to getting in the ring with him.
“I was never going to pass at this opportunity. This is my breakthrough night. Everyone that I’ve fought or sparred with have always said I’m big and awkward. He’ll have his work cut out too. I’m not coming in to just fall down. I’m coming in to win. I will have my hand raised.”
BAKER – I’M A HUGE BANANA SKIN FOR FIAZ
Brummie fires warning to Matchroom prospect
Kane Baker is promising to inflict a first career defeat on Aqib Fiaz when he locks horns with the recent Matchroom signing over eight rounds in a Lightweight contest on the undercard of Terri Harper vs. Natasha Jonas on Friday August 7, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.
In compiling 13 wins in 19 fights, Baker has faced top opposition, often at very short notice and on the other man’s turf. In only his fifth fight, Baker was halted by another Matchroom prospect, Conor Benn, the big-punching son of former WBC Super-Middleweight World Champion Nigel.
In his next fight, he agreed to meet heavy-handed Irish prospect Gary Cully at 24 hours’ notice and went the distance over four rounds in Belfast. Baker’s unquenchable, never-say-die spirit was rewarded last December when he outpointed unbeaten Ishmael Ellis for the Midlands Area Lightweight Title.
A granite toughness has seen Baker battle through a demanding professional baptism and the experienced 30-year-old believes he will be too big a test so early on in the career of Oldham’s Fiaz, who will be making his big debut as a Matchroom man.
“I was surprised they offered me this fight,” said Baker. “I wouldn’t fight me at the minute. No way. Definitely not. I can see why they did though. I’m a come forward fighter and I’ve got some decent names on my record. If he beats me then it’s a good name under his belt and he can progress quickly. I can see the logic behind it, but I’m going to be the biggest banana skin that they’ve ever put out there.
“He hasn’t been past six rounds yet. I know he was a good amateur but it’s a different game in the pros. Normally I don’t know anything about my opponents, I don’t want to know, but I’ve gone the opposite way for this one because I’ve had time through lockdown to do my homework. I’ve looked into this one and this is my chance to win.
“I don’t really watch my opponents but I’ve been told to watch him and from what I’ve seen of him, nothing really intimidates me. I’ve watched him and I’m going to keep watching him. I’m going to improve my game to beat his game. It’s a new totally different Kane Baker. I don’t think Matchroom are going to snatch me up when I beat him because I’m a bit older but he’ll come again, he’s young enough.”
Fiaz vs. Baker lands on Week 2 of Matchroom Fight Camp, Terri Harper’s (10-0, 5 KOs) defence of her WBC and IBO Super-Featherweight World Titles against British rival Natasha Jonas (9-1, 7 KOs) headlines the show, Bournemouth’s Chris Billam-Smith (10-1, 9 KOs) defends his Commonwealth Title against undefeated Cardiff man Nathan Thorley (14-0, 6 KOs), Liverpool Super-Welterweight Anthony Fowler (12-1, 9 KOs) gets his second outing of the year against Adam Harper (9-1) and Leeds Featherweight prospect Hopey Price (2-0) fights on UK soil again following his win on the huge Andy Ruiz vs. Anthony Joshua 2 show in Saudi Arabia.