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Terri Harper and Natasha Jonas battle to split draw at Matchroom Fight Camp

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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WBC female super featherweight champion Terri Harper 10-0-1 (5) held on to her title with a 10-round split draw against 2012 Olympian Natasha Jonas 9-1-1 (7) in the second edition of Matchroom Fight Camp in Brentwood, Essex on Friday night.

The fight was a back-and-forth affair with the harder shots coming from Jonas while Harper was often busier.

Southpaw Jonas was cut above the right eye from a legal punch in the second round but the blood didn’t appear to put her off her game.

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Harper, the short-priced favourite going in, was wobbled by Jonas late in the fight by a cracking right hook but came back strongly in a competitive 10th and final round.

Judge Ian John Lewis scored the bout 96-94 for Harper, while judge John Latham had it 96-95 for Jonas and judge Mark Lyson couldn’t split them at 95-95.

“I was trying to stay on the outside and I caught her with some shots and she caught me with some. That’s boxing,” Harper said.

“I’m disappointed with my boxing but I’m 23-years-old. I want to thank Tasha for an excellent fight, it was a big learning curve for me. She was a tough opponent and she has clearly put it all in in that training camp.

“We have massive respect for each other, Tasha has always been someone I have looked up to and I could tell the class she had.”

Jonas, 36, was similarly disappointed with the result.

“I thought it was level going into the eighth and I thought I won nine clearly and then 10,” Jonas said.

“But it was history in the making and it was an honour to share the ring with Terri. She is going to be in the game longer than me.

“I put on a good performance and I’m just gutted I’m not coming home with the belts. It’s just one of them nights and hopefully all those people on the fence about women’s boxing now say they enjoyed it.

“I’m so happy and she is the world champion, so I knew I had to come with a good performance. I thought I did that, but it wasn’t meant to be.”

Asked if she would like a rematch, Jonas said: “100%.”

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