Terri Harper owns the WBA super welterweight titles, and she is what a champion should be. The 26 year old Harper is someone who presents themself as a role model, whilst taking on all comers, shying away from nobody.
So why is she not celebrated more across the boxing fraternity?
“She is a belter
Different from the rest
Diamonds on her finger
And she always looks her best
She is a gangster
With a hundred mile stare
When she walks
Her feet don't touch the flair
She is a belter”
Terri Harper Is Skilled, Tough, Strong
Blasts through the surround sound across the arenas as Harper struts to the ring, the Gerry Cinnamon lyrics match alter egos of the fighter.
In just her ninth fight she dominated the experienced, and now incarcerated, Viviane Obenauf, before defeating former world champion Eva Wahlstrom. A draw with ‘Miss GB’ Tasha Jonas came next before stopping Katharina Thanderz. This was all in a 12 month period.
Exactly a year of inactivity ensued and ultimately ended in defeat. The ‘0’ was no longer intact after a devastating fourth round stoppage was suffered at the fists of Alycia Baumgardner. Click here to watch Harper-Baumgardner.
However, the woman owns a warrior's mindset and a lions heart, so that wouldn't define the Yorkshire athlete.
But does the loss to Baumgardner define her credentials with the fan base? The answer is probably yes.
Fans, of any sport, can be extremely fickle but boxing more so. One loss can see your dressing room go from an army to a sole survivor, your ticket sales from arenas to leisure centres.
Terri Harper is believing this won't be her route.
Since her sole loss, Harper has bounced back with two wins. She grabbed world titles in her latest bout, defeating Hannah Rankin last September.
Next up is one of the greatest female athletes to have competed in the sport, Cecilia Braekhus.
Braekhus will be hoping her vast in-ring experience will be enough to see off her opponent, who is 15 years her junior.
The fight which could portray a passing of the torch moment may be just what Harper needs to gain the respect she seemingly deserves.
This is a woman who, as a child, fell out of love with boxing. Had hung up her gloves with no intention of wearing them again. That was until the meteoric rise of women’s boxing began when Katie Taylor dazzled, leaving fans wowed by every punch she threw.
One of those fans was Terri.
Deciding to give boxing one more opportunity. A chance to change her life.
Harper finds herself on Saturday sharing the same stage as her heroine, Katie Taylor, all these years later. Harper could well be poised and ready to take over from the old guard, to reign for years to come.