Taylor to defend WBA title in December

Katie Taylor WBA world title defence December London
31 October 2017; WBA World Lightweight Champion Katie Taylor with her belt during a press conference at the Irish Film Institute, in Temple Bar, Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Katie Taylor will defend her WBA lightweight title on 15 December with London, and not Dublin, the most likely location.

The 31-year-old from Bray had initially been expected to make her first defence a ‘homecoming’ fight in Dublin next year.

But she will instead be back in the ring next month against an opponent and at a venue to be confirmed, despite suffering a cut in her win over Argentine Anahi Sanchez on Saturday in Cardiff.

“It’s going to be a great end to the year, I hope,” said Taylor, who reiterated her desire to unify the belts in the wake of her unanimous points victory over Sanchez.

Taylor would then contest a ‘homecoming’ fight in Dublin in April in another unifying title bout.

“I’m really excited – it’s been absolutely phenomenal boxing in the UK these last 11 months,” added Taylor.

Katie Taylor WBA world title defence December London
31 October 2017; WBA World Lightweight Champion Katie Taylor poses with her WBA belt after a press conference at the Irish Film Institute, in Temple Bar, Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

“But it was always in the pipeline to box at home in Dublin at some stage. I can’t wait for that homecoming fight.

“When I first turned pro I wanted to unify the division. Next year in Dublin we plan on unifying the belts and it’s something I’ve always dreamed of.”

WBC champion Delfine Persoon defends her version of the title in her native Belgium in two week’s time, but Taylor’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, has voiced with his preference for ABO American champion Jessica McCaskill as Taylor’s next opponent.

McCaskill has been keen to face Taylor since the Irish fighter turned pro.

“Jennifer [Jessica] McCaskill – you guys might not know too much about her, but she’s been calling Katie Taylor out for about a year now. she might get a shot herself at some point,” said Hearn.

Taylor’s manager Brian Peters added: “She’ll regret that.”

Katie Taylor WBA world title defence December London
31 October 2017; WBA World Lightweight Champion Katie Taylor poses with her WBA belt at a press conference at the Irish Film Institute, in Temple Bar, Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Taylor was more pragmatic, saying: “I’m looking forward to the day I step into the ring with Jessica, seriously. She hasn’t left me alone for the last year!

“She’s a great fighter as well – it definitely will be a tough fight – but these are the fights that I want, and this is a fight that’s definitely going to interest the public as well.”

Taylor’s fight with Sanchez was just her seventh fight as a professional and a year after calling time on her amateur career, but she dominated ten round fight, which was shown live in the United States.

Despite finishing with a cut above her eye, all three judges scored the contest 99-90 in Taylor’s favour, to inflict just Sanchez’s third defeat in 20 fights.

Having failed to make the weight, Sanchez could not retain her WBA lightweight title, but victory for Taylor would see her take the belt and she dropped her opponent in the second round with a left to the ribs.

Katie Taylor WBA world title defence December London
31 October 2017; WBA World Lightweight Champion Katie Taylor, right, and her mother Bridget with promoter Eddie Hearn, left, and manager Brian Peters at a press conference at the Irish Film Institute, in Temple Bar, Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Despite not making the weight, Sanchez still carried a threat and produced some dangerous counter punching, but the better work throughout came from Taylor.

“I’m just delighted to be world champion,” said Taylor. “Words can’t express how I feel.

“It wasn’t my best performance but I’m delighted to get bit wild at times and I left myself wide open.

“Thank God I came through. It was a very tough fight.”

Taylor, who won gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games, was embraced in the ring by her family when the decision was announced.


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