Friday’s Matchroom Fight Camp main event was a thriller in Eddie Hearn’s company garden, as WBC junior lightweight titleholder Terri Harper and Natasha Jonas put on a 10-round war, filled with skill, grit, heart, and determination, winding up going to a draw in the end.
There are obvious calls for Harper (10-0-1, 5 KO) and Jonas (9-1-1, 7 KO) to do it again, and promoter Hearn has the same idea most who watched the fight do, that we do indeed need to see a rematch.
“I thought the fight was a draw. I felt maybe if anyone was going to get the decision, it would be Natasha Jonas, but it was a very close fight, could have gone either way,” Hearn said post-fight.
“I think we have to see the rematch for that fight. I feel that it was just a stunning fight. No one gave Natasha a chance going into that fight, really, other than the people around here. I could just see how focused she was, see she was in great shape. What she did was put in the performance. She was hurt in the second round, Harper was out on her feet in the eighth round — we have to see the fight again. And I know that Terri being Terri will want to do it again anyway.”
The 23-year-old Harper and 36-year-old Jonas could easily meet again by the end of 2020. Going into the fight, there was a thought that if Harper won — as basically everyone expected — she would be put into a unification with WBO titleholder Ewa Brodnicka, whom Matchroom signed this week.
Harper-Jonas, though, really demands a rematch, and it’s frankly a bigger fight than a unification with Brodnicka would be, in terms of the attention it will draw, which is really how fights are big or not, not belts. And the WBO have ordered Brodnicka (19-0, 2 KO) to make a defense against Mikaela Mayer (13-0, 5 KO), too. Mayer has been demanding a title shot for a bit now, has had back-and-forth words with Harper on social media, and is right in line, but an easy solution would be to do Harper-Jonas 2 and Brodnicka-Mayer, and then have the winners face one another. It’s good for everyone involved, which of course in boxing doesn’t mean it’ll happen.