Terri Harper ready to lead the new generation of female fighters as she prepares to challenge veteran Eva Wahlstrom

Terri Harper celebrates victory over Viviane ObenaufTerri Harper celebrates victory over Viviane Obenauf
Terri Harper celebrates victory over Viviane Obenauf | PA (Press Association)
A superb performance in her first world title defence marked Terri Harper out as one to watch in the future of female boxing.

But the Denaby Main fighter insists the future is now for her.

Harper delivered an excellent performance of skill and composure to comfortably see off the resilient Viviane Obenauf and retain her IBO super featherweight title in Manchester on Saturday night.

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And afterwards, the birthday girl was handed the perfect present - confirmation of a shot at reigning WBC champion Eva Wahlstrom in February next year.

Wahlstrom is vastly experienced and, at 39, has 16 years on Harper.

And Harper believes the time is right for her to lead the charge for the next generation of world class female fighters.

"She's got a lot of experience on me, she's a lot older I feel it's my time to come through as a younger female fight and claim these belts," Harper told the Free Press.

"It's exciting and I can't really wait for it.

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"There's no rest for the wicked and we're straight onto the next one.

"I'm going to enjoy my week off and we're not really thinking about that one just yet.

"Next week I'll be back at it.

"She's a world champion, the WBC, the most pretigious belt.

"She's not a world champion for nothing - she's a very good boxer.

"Her only defeat is against Katie Taylor, which tells you a lot.

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"So Christmas is cancelled. I've got plenty of years to enjoy my Christmases. It's time to just knuckle down for February.

"We haven't got a set date yet so we're going to be ready for whenever."

The bout is likely to take place on a yet-to-be-announced card in Sheffield in February.

The shot at Wahlstrom came as a big surprise for Harper and manager Stefy Bull, who were told that terms had been agreed for the fight at ringside following her win over Obenauf by promoter Eddie Hearn, just after the Manchester crowd had seranded her with a rendtion of happy birthday.

"No, we didn't know at all," Harper said.

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"I know Andrew was speaking with Eddie about trying to get it for this fight but she wasn't ready due to her wisdom teeth.

"It was a complete surprise at ringside.

"And it's not very often an arena sings happy birthday to you. That was something else.

"Another memory that will last a lifetime for me."

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