Terry Harper lifts WBA title with impressive win over Hannah Rankin

Terry Harper (right) dominated throughout the match
Terry Harper (right) dominated throughout the match

Terry Harper was crowned the new WBA Super-Welterweight Champion with an impressive unanimous decision victory over Hannah Rankin of Scotland.

The English challenger, who had advanced in three weight classes for the bout in Nottingham, raised an eyebrow in the second round.

And Harper went on to claim the IBO belt as well.

The 25-year-old is now a two-time world champion, having previously held the WBC super-featherweight title.

Harper displayed the confidence that comes with a post-World Championship field fight. “That’s what I’m aiming for,” Harper said. “Eddy [Hearn] And the matchroom believed in me and I’m glad I got the job done.”

Following the historical nature of Rankin’s last fight – being the first woman to make headlines in her homeland – the contest would have felt different for the reigning champion as she had to stand out from the crowd before the first bell.

A cagey first round ended with Harper getting the better and Rankin’s face red. The challenger kept up the momentum with an impressive three-punch combination at the start of the next, opening Rankin’s left eyebrow with a right-hand jab at the top. It was a wound that later saw Scott being taken to the hospital as a precaution.

Harper had spent the build-up to the fight promising to be too quick and too fast for the Scottish boxer, and he proved himself right as he maneuvered smoothly around his opponent, for a jab. Rankin’s sensibility continued to be highlighted.

As the fight approached the halfway point, the 32-year-old defending champion began to shut down Harper and seemed hot for the task.

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Harper quickly regained control, however, and looked relatively easily despite Rankin’s increasing intensity as he worked his way back into the competition.

Rankin stepped up his attack again in round seven, only to be hit with one of the best shots of the night, as Harper landed a powerful right hand in the closing second. Rankin took it well but withdrew carefully.

The Scottish fighter was unable to close the gap in the closing round as Harper continued peppery jabs in his direction, something Rankin failed to finish throughout the evening.

As the final bell was ringing, Harper showed great detail not to get into Rankin’s range, as Scott was unable to find a way to retain his title.