Sandy Ryan TKOS Terri Harper

WBO Titlist Sandy Ryan Pummels Terri Harper in Battle Between British Champs


By David A. Avila

WBO welterweight titlist Sandy Ryan won the battle between British champions with a pile-driving stoppage of Terri Harper who dropped down a weight division but was unable to compete on Saturday in England.

Harper, 27, the WBA and WBO super welterweight titlist, willingly dropped down a weight division to face Ryan for her WBO welterweight belt.

It was not her night.

Ryan (7-1-1, 3 Kos) walked into enemy territory and quieted the pro-Harper (14-2-2, 6 Kos) crowd with a riveting attack at Sheffield Arena. There was no stopping her on this evening.

“I’m just happy,” said Ryan, 30, of Derby England.

After spending months in Las Vegas, Nevada living and training away from her home in England, the tall slender fighter Ryan finally was able to lure a fellow British world champion in the boxing ring.

“I was away from family and friends for so long,” Ryan said.

A competitive first round between the two female champions saw Ryan open up the second round behind a riveting left jab and body shots that made Harper hesitant and gun shy to counter.

Ryan seemed to sense early that she was in control and opened up with five and six-punch combinations. And when Harper retaliated, Ryan returned fire again almost daring her rival to engage in a free for all.

Harper clinched several times in the third round to stymie Ryan’s constant attack, but it was not enough. The WBO titlist seemed even more eager to win by knockout and opened up with little concern of Harper’s counters.

In the fifth round it was obvious that Ryan was in complete control, the only question was if she could maintain the frenetic pace. Again, she opened up with punishing combinations as Harper searched for a solution. Instead, rights and lefts pummeled the super welterweight titlist until the end of the round.

Harper’s corner decided to end the fight. Referee Marcus McDonnell declared Ryan the winner at the end of the fifth round by technical knockout.

“I felt her fading,” said Ryan about opening up the last several rounds.

The win by Ryan sets her up for a rematch against America’s Jessica McCaskill who holds the IBO, WBA and WBC welterweight titles. Their first encounter ended in a split draw after 10 rounds last September in Orlando, Florida.

Ryan expressed a desire to face any champion.

“Any big fight. All the big names,” Ryan said.

Though Harper lost the fight, her titles were not up for grabs. She remains the WBA and WBO super welterweight titlist.

Ryan could easily move up for those titles too.

Promoter Eddie Hearn pronounced Ryan the real welterweight champion.

“It was a dominant performance,” said Hearn of Ryans win.