Matchroom Boxing have announced that Terri Harper will defend her WBA junior middleweight title against former welterweight ruler Cecilia Braekhus, with a date and venue to be announced soon.
Harper (13-1-1, 6 KO) won the WBC 130 lb title in 2020 and made two defenses before getting smashed by Alycia Baumgardner in Nov. 2021, after which Harper moved up to lightweight for one fight and then made the leap all the way up to 154, where she beat Hannah Rankin to claim the WBA belt.
Harper, 26, is 15 years younger than her veteran opponent Braekhus (37-2, 9 KO), whose championship-level run began in 2009 when she claimed the WBC and WBA welterweight titles against Vinni Skovgaard, added the WBO title in 2010, and then went full undisputed in 2014 when she beat Ivana Habazin in Copenhagen.
She made 10 defenses of her undisputed crown — and 24 title defenses overall — before losing a controversial majority decision to Jessica McCaskill in Aug. 2020, then their rematch in Mar. 2021.
Braekhus has had only one fight since the back-to-back losses to McCaskill, a six-round win over journeywoman Marisa Joana Portillo last December in Oklahoma on a Golden Boy undercard, breaking what appeared at one point to be a retirement from the ring.
Braekhus recently had expressed interest in fighting Natasha Jonas, who holds the WBC, IBF, and WBO titles at 154, and like Harper is really fighting far over her natural weight. Harper and Jonas fought for Harper’s 130 lb title in Aug. 2020, in fact, going to a draw in the Matchroom headquarters back garden.
Harper vs Braekhus could fit nicely on any of Matchroom’s upcoming UK shows, but it could also headline a card, potentially Harper getting a close-to-home fight in Sheffield, or a true home fight in Doncaster, an idea that has been batted around a bit over the past few years.