Alycia Baumgardner personified her “The Bomb” nickname by tumbling Terri Harper, claiming the WBC Super Featherweight in emphatic fashion in Sheffield live on DAZN
SHEFFIELD, UNITED KINGDOM (November 13, 2021) — Defending WBC Featherweight champion returned to the ring nearly exactly one year since her last title defense. Challenger Alycia Baumgardner picked up a decision victory back in August. However, during the pandemic the 27-year old Detroit, Michigan resident saw negotiations for her first world title opportunity, against newly unified IBF and WBO champion Mikeala Mayer, conclude without a fight being finalized.
Harper could be on a collision course with WBA champion Hyun Mi Choi to possibly set up an undisputed bout with Mayer in 2022.
The champion’s unification plans seemed to be in jeopardy from the outset of the fight. Harper was hit by big punches early, and Baumgardner’s athletic advantages became evident – as well as her confidence.
The American snatched the first two rounds before Harper could make any adjustments. The champion tried to gain control of the fight in the third round. Baumgardner remained poised and patient after her early success. Early in the fourth round the challenger’s footwork and precision timing enabled her to land an overhand right that irreparably spoiled Harper’s return with a single punch.
Baumgardner (11-1, 7 KOs) might not have made any new fans with her brashness throughout fight week. But, the new champion backed up her off-putting behavior and easily put together a show-stopping performance on the way to handing Harper (11-1-1, 6 KOs) her first loss.
Baumgardner answered the first bell with her hands lowered confidently shooting jabs to the champion’s body. She mixed in some foot feints before placing some jabs to Harper’s head. Harper pressed forward with power punches, but the action ended somewhat evenly.
Baumgardner scored with several big punches to open the second round. Harper showed effects from the challenger’s wide right hands. Harper (11-1-1, 6 KOs) steadied herself in the round’s final minute, and attempted to attack more cautiously.
Into Round 3, the action remained center-ring for a third consecutive frame. Baumgardner’s confidence remained. Harper went to work as if possibly in a 0-2 round deficit. The challenger continued boxing well, Harper mixed in some foot feints and picked up her pace.
Harper scored with a jab to the body early in the fourth round, but then immediately after walked into another big right hand from the American. The champion stood motionless for a moment after the right hand landed on her temple. Fortunately Baumgardner fell off to her right with her follow through, and referee Mark Lyson stepped in to wave off the fight before the defenseless Harper could be punched again.
Baumgardner erupted into an emotional celebration in the middle of ring, fully relieved after making the statement the The Ring Magazine 2018 Prospect of the Year’s fight week behavior foreshadowed.
Officially, the stoppage came at 23 seconds into Round 4. Baumgardner exited the ring with both the WBC and IBO, as well as some additional leverage to revisit negotiations with Mayer. During the ringside post-fight interview Eddie Hearn confirmed a rematch clause was in place, asserting that the former champion will receive an opportunity to avenge her fist loss.
Photos by Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing