The Hornet’s Nest of Super Featherweights

Terri Harper Adds to the Hornet’s Nest of Super Featherweights


By David A. Avila

When women’s prizefighting returns those at the top of the hill are already scheduled, but the rest of the fighters are still in a cloud of mystery.

Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano are set, Claressa Shields and Marie Eve Dicaire are set, Jessica McCaskill and Cecilia Braekhus are set, but what about the others and smaller divisions.

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Some of the more dominant fighters below lightweights have been severely overlooked with the exception of Seniesa Estrada who has been given air time via streaming.

With the cancellation of the Tokyo Olympics this year a flock of talented boxers will be entering the prizefighting arena, especially in the super featherweight division. Things are going to get crazy good or crazy bad.

The super featherweights added a new champion with Terri Harper from the United Kingdom grabbing the WBC title with a convincing performance over Eva Wahlstrom last February. Her alignment with Matchroom Boxing allowed her to jump over the more established 130-pounders and grab the belt.

It was a clear cut victory.

Harper, 23, has a few technical deficiencies but can make up for any mistakes with shocking power. When she knocked out Nina Bradley a year ago in the 10th round a year ago and followed up with knockout wins against Argentina’s Claudia Lopez and Nozipho Bell, it was proof she has that extra weaponry that separates her from the others.

Katherina Thanderz reportedly has first crack at Harper. And there are many more waiting.

A Violent Lineup

Waiting like a caged lioness is America’s Mikaela Mayer who reportedly has a tenuous date with long-time WBO titlist Ewa Brodnicka of Poland. We shall see. But there are plenty of others at the weight division just as hungry and just as dangerous.

Belgium’s Delfine Persoon dropped down from the lightweight division and has established her intent to compete in the super featherweight class. France’s Maiva Hamadouche has the IBF title and a chance to avenge a loss to Persoon might be a perfect scenario.

South Korea’s Hyun Mi Choi has held the WBA version of the featherweight and super featherweight title since May 201. As a featherweight she defended it several times against notable competition such as Australia’s Shannon O’Connell, Argentina’s Claudia Lopez, and Canada’s Sandy Tsagouris. But as a super featherweight her title defenses have not been against the best. Choi remains an enigma as a super featherweight. For a short while she was allegedly meeting Hamadouche when it was abruptly shot down. No new date has been established.

The super featherweights are loaded with talent in the USA especially led by Tiara Brown, Alycia Baumgardner, Ronica Jeffrey and of course the aforementioned Mayer.

Mayer, a former US Olympian, has blitzed through the competition and anxiously awaits an opportunity to win a world title. She also has many others right behind her who like her advanced from the USA Boxing amateur program.

It’s a loaded class.

San Antonio’s Isamary Aquino already joined the pros, who might be next? Internationally a large number of boxers could be joining the fray especially with the Olympics postponing their events in Japan this year. Many boxers may decide to join the professional ranks instead of waiting.

So far when it comes to scheduling the super featherweights, they seem to be lost in the mist.

That could all change quickly when boxing returns.

The super featherweights could very well be the champagne division of women’s boxing especially with Hamadouche, Harper, Mayer, Persoon, Choi, Brodnicka buzzing around without set dates.

Let’s not forget the former champions like Eva Wahlstrom and Edith Matthysse or challengers like Helen Joseph and Natasha Jonas. Or what about the world champions from other divisions like Jelena Mrdjenovich, Jennifer Han, Heather Hardy or Ewa Piatkowska. It’s top heavy with clout.

However you look at the super featherweights it’s perhaps the deepest division in female boxing.