Terri Harper expecting toughest test yet against Cecilia Braekhus for WBO and WBA super-featherweight titles

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Terri Harper expects her toughest test yet when she defends her world title against former undisputed queen Cecilia Braekhus.

The pair will go head-to-head for Harper’s WBA super-welterweight belt and the vacant WBO title at Sheffield Arena on Saturday night.

Braekhus, who went undefeated for 36 fights stretching across 13 years, was forced to withdraw from their original fight in May on the morning of the event due to an illness.

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"I would say it is (my toughest fight yet),” said Denaby Main’s two-time world champion Harper, who defended her belt against Ivana Habazin after Braekhus’ drop-out.

Terri Harper and Cecilia Braekhus final press conference ahead of their WBA and vacant WBO World super-welterweight title fight. Picture By Mark Robinson Matchroom BoxingTerri Harper and Cecilia Braekhus final press conference ahead of their WBA and vacant WBO World super-welterweight title fight. Picture By Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing
Terri Harper and Cecilia Braekhus final press conference ahead of their WBA and vacant WBO World super-welterweight title fight. Picture By Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing

"I’m getting in there with a former undisputed world champion and someone who’s got so much more experience over me.

"She’s been in the ring with some great female fighters and champions.”

Braekhus, 42, is 16 years older than Harper.

She won all four major world titles at welterweight before moving up to 154 pounds where she suffered her only career defeats – back-to-back losses to Jessica McCaskill in 2021.

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"For Cecilia, this is the last roll of the dice and a chance to become world champion again,” said Harper.

"I’m expecting the best version of Cecilia on Saturday night.

"There will be no respect from me in the ring. I am going to do everything I can to be victorious.”

Harper has become a world champion again since suffering her only career defeat against Alycia Baumgardner in 2021 at the same venue where she fights this weekend.

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But ‘Belter’ feels she has “gone under the radar” following that loss.

"If I can put on a show, make a good statement, it’s going to get people talking about me again,” she said.

Harper’s mental strength has been questioned in the past but as she gains more experience her confidence grows.

"The older I’m getting and surrounding myself with good people, the more I’m maturing," she added.

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"I’m in a good headspace, I have got great people around me, winning these fights keeps the confidence going.

"I just want to get a good win and impress.”

Harper confirmed she could drop down two weights in future as she seeks more titles.

But first she must take care of business against bullish Braekhus, who told a press conference: “It’s not a must-win. I want to win and I will win.”