History In The Making As Harper & Jonas Fight In All-British World Title Fight - Fight Camp Week Two
After what was quite simply an electric start to Fight Camp on Saturday, the second show is fast approaching as world title action comes to Eddie Hearn’s back garden.
Last weekend saw the first of four shows take place at Matchroom HQ, with Ted Cheeseman and Sam Eggington serving up a classic in the main event. There were also impressive wins for James Tennyson, Fabio Wardley and Dalton Smith who all got the job done inside the distance, with Jordan Gill convincingly outpointing Reece Bellotti in the opening bout.
If the first show is anything to go by, we are in for a treat for the next three weeks of Fight Camp.
First up on Friday is an exciting prospect, Hopey Price. Price is a baby in professional boxing, with this only being his third fight. The 20-year-old is one of the hottest prospects in the Matchroom stable, and the Dave Coldwell trained featherweight is certainly one to watch in the coming years. The impressive GB amateur last fought on the undercard of Anthony Joshua v Andy Ruiz II, and will be looking to make a statement at Fight Camp. In the opposite corner is Jonny Philips. Philips has fought the likes of Stephen Smith and Rhys Edwards but is coming off the back of three successive defeats.
Next up is Aqib Fiaz, who takes on Kane Baker in the second contest of the evening. Fiaz is undefeated in 5 professional fights, each victory coming by way of unanimous decision. The 20-year-old trains under the tutelage of Jamie Moore, alongside seasoned professionals such as Carl Frampton, Jack Catterall and Dave Allen. The lightweight prospect is another one to watch, who will be looking to kick on his career in 2021.
However, his opponent, Baker, will be no pushover. The 30-year-old has been in with the likes of Conor Benn and Sam Maxwell and comes to Fight Camp with serious ambition and a winning record. Fiaz will certainly have to be on his game to beat the Midlands man.
The third fight of the evening sees Anthony Fowler take on Adam Harper in a super-welterweight contest. On paper, this fight looks a very interesting one, with both only having the one defeat to their name. Fowler, who’s only defeat came to Scott Fitzgerald, in what was a very close encounter, will come into the contest as favourite hoping to get some big fights at the end of the year and in 2021. The Liverpool man has recently changed trainers and is now working with Shane McGuigan, along with fellow Olympians Luke Campbell and Lawrence Okolie.
However, Harper will see this fight as a massive opportunity to get a huge name on his record, and has been vocal in the build-up, strongly believing that he has what it takes to defeat ‘The Machine’. Should Fowler come through on Friday night, he will have the likes of Ted Cheeseman and Scott Fitzgerald on his radar for huge domestic showdowns in the New Year.
The chief support sees heavy-hitting cruiserweight, Chris Billam-Smith, take on the undefeated Nathan Thorley. With only the one defeat on his record against Richard Riakporhe, ‘The Gentleman’ looks to be one of the best cruiserweights in the country. Last time out, the Bournemouth man stopped Craig Glover in the fifth round, winning the Commonwealth Title in only his eleventh fight. This is the 30-year-old’s first defence of his Commonwealth title, and will be looking for another knockout to add to his already impressive highlight reel.
Thorley, who is three years younger than Billam-Smith, will really fancy his chances of causing an upset come fight night. The Welshman will be hopeful of getting his hand raised and putting his on his own push to big British and European fights in the not so distant future.
Billam-Smith told Matchroom Boxing: “Thorley has never been in with anyone like me. He’s tall and awkward but I will have my hand raised and make sure I keep my belt.”
However, Thorley also believes he will get his hand raised. “I’m going to bring that Commonwealth Title back to Cardiff! I feel like a different animal up at Cruiserweight and will show my ability on the night.”
The main event of the evening sees Terri Harper, the undefeated WBC woman’s super-featherweight champion, take on ‘Miss GB’, Natasha Jonas.
This fight was meant to take place back in April, but those plans were halted due to COVID-19. However, nothing was going to stop these two woman’s boxing superstars from locking horns, and we have a great main event to look forward to come Friday night.
Last time out, we saw Terri Harper defeat Eva Wahlstrom convincingly to become the WBC super-featherweight champion, to add to her IBO belt. Harper, who is only 23-years-old, looks like she could be the one to take over from Katie Taylor soon and become the new face of woman’s boxing.
However, in the opposite corner, ‘Miss GB’ has other ideas. Jonas herself is also only 10 fights into her professional career but is the senior to Harper by thirteen years. The 36-year-old believes that on her day, she is more than capable of beating any woman on the planet. With both ladies believing they will get their hand raised, this makes for a cracking fight come Friday.
Ahead of the highly-anticipated clash, both trainers have had lots to say pre-fight. Joe Gallagher believes Jonas has what it takes to defeat the newly crowned WBC champion. He told Sky Sports, “There’s no pressure on Tasha – a lot of people are expecting this to be her last fight. You see the social posts from Stefy Bull and Terri Harper, saying that they are going to fill Tasha in on August 7. That’s good fuel for Natasha.”
In the other corner, trainer Stefy Bull believes Harper will have too much for Jonas and will make a successful first defence of her WBC woman’s super-featherweight belt. He told Sky Sports, “Terri is looking a million dollars, she’s a special talent and I’m going to make this 2-0. It’s going to be Stefy Bull 2-0 Joe Gallagher. I beat him with Robbie Barrett when he beat Scott Cardle for the British title, and we’ll win again with Terri Harper versus Natasha Jonas.”
The champion believes in her ability and is confident ahead of the first defence of her title. ‘Belter’ told Sky Sports, “She can’t handle the pressure. I’ve got a good engine and I’m just going to be relentless and keep going and going.”
The scouse challenger believes she will silence the doubters and become the new WBC champion come Friday night. She told Matchroom Boxing, “I’ll be prepared, whether it’s one round or ten rounds. I’ll be prepared and I’ll keep going. There’s nothing she does better than me, and I’ll prove it on August 7th.”
Friday night promises to be another great night of action, as British boxing really starts to pick back up after a few months of absence.
Written By Paul Kelly