Terri Harper on her lightbulb moment, and how Sandy Ryan went from ‘superhuman’ to ‘insecure’

Terri Harper is brimming with confidence ahead of her huge showdown vs Sandy Ryan in Sheffield on Saturday night.

The 27-year-old unified world super-welterweight champion (14-1-2) bids to add the WBO welterweight title to her belts as she challenges Ryan (6-1-1) in a huge bill topped by Dalton Smith vs Jose Zepeda (live on DAZN). And she could not be more bullish about her hopes of dethroning the title holder.

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Speaking at Thursday’s final press conference, ‘Belter’ revealed: “I feel like in this camp I’ve had a lightbulb moment where something has just clicked. I know everyone says it, but I really have been having the best spars of my career.

Harper full of confidence

“As an athlete I always get myself in the best physical shape possible but one thing I’ve always neglected from the beginning of my career is the mental side of things. I keep joking that I’ve read four books and it’s completely changed my life, just how I view my boxing career and my personal life.

“I feel like I am a much more positive person to be around, and I’ve got a lot more self-belief and I’m quietly confident that I am going to get the job done on Saturday night and I’m very confident that it will be a career-best performance.”

As well as her own confidence, Harper also talked about a shift in the way she views Ryan – at 30 some three years her senior. At once she put Sandy on a pedestal, but not any more.

Sandy Ryan vs Terri Harper Face Off Eddie Hearn Sheffield March 2024
Sandy Ryan and Terri Harper face off at the final press conference ahead of their world title fight in Sheffield on March 23, 2024 (Photo – Mark Robinson, Matchroom Boxing).

‘Belter’ on Ryan

“I remember when Stefy told me we had some sparring with Sandy I thought ‘oh my god’. Obviously, I used to look up at Sandy as this superhuman, but I can remember the first time I got in the ring with her, I think that’s when it really clicked that I am a great fighter, and I can hold my own against the top-level fighters.

“I came away from those spars with so much confidence, that was a couple of years back now, I’ve been in the gym, improving constantly and I’m just excited to get back in there at this new weight and take this opportunity that’s in front of me and get a good win for everyone that’s coming to support me.”

‘Insecure’ Sandy

Harper has already said in the build-up to Saturday’s fight that she will take Ryan out to deep waters, and believes the Derby fighter’s response to that vow is enlightening.

“She’s taken the deep waters comment a lot deeper than what it is. I am her toughest opponent to date and I’m going to make her answer a lot of questions in that ring, that’s all.

“The fact it’s triggered her so much, that little comment, that screams as insecure. The fact you’ve gone onto socials to get that reassurance at all times, you just need to focus on your training and yourself, and just chill out because it’s not that deep.”