By Damian Dolan
Two-weight world champion Katie Taylor is on a mission and is already lining up her next opponent, as her quest for world domination continues at a pace.
In front of a partisan crowd at Manchester Arena, Taylor beat Christina Linardatou on points to add the WBO super-lightweight title to her four lightweight belts.
Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing, Katie’s promotor, confirmed we can expect to see her back in the ring by February or March of next year, when she’ll headline a pay per view fight.
Taylor, 33, has her own ideas on who her next opponent might be.
“I can’t wait for that rematch with [Delfine] Persoon and also a huge, huge fight with Amanda Serrano,” Taylor told Sky Sports afterwards.
“I dug deep against Persoon and came out with victory and now I am a two-weight world champion.”
She added: “Right now I’m just going to enjoy this victory and I’ll leave the match making up to my team.”
In June, Taylor controversially defeated Persoon on points to unify all four world belts at lightweight (135lbs). That doubts were cast over the decision is something Taylor will not want to leave unaddressed.
Serrano has lost just once in 37 fights and is the current WBO and interim WBC featherweight champion.
The Puerto Rican last year signed a three-fight deal with Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing, and has been embroiled in a war of words with Taylor all year, unhappy that she has not been able to get a fight with the Irishwoman.
Last year, Taylor comprehensively defeated Amanda’s sister, Cindy Serrano, further fuelling speculation that a fight between the pair is in the pipeline.
Taylor clearly has options. She can sell out venues and a bumper pay day for any opponent she sets her sights on will be hard to turn down.
She could also opt for a unification bout at 140lbs with American Jessica McCaskill, who holds the WBC and WBA super-lightweight belts.
Two weight World Champion!
Overwhelmed by all the support and kind comments, thank you. pic.twitter.com/m3sSVW4NJZ
— Katie Taylor (@KatieTaylor) November 3, 2019
It’s a fight that might appeal to McCaskill, who was beaten unanimously on points by Taylor at lightweight at London’s York Hall in December 2017. Taylor held the WBA belt at the time.
It’s one of only two losses suffered by the American in ten fights, and she might fancy another crack at the Bray-native. It’s was also the only time McCaskill has boxed outside of America.
Taylor, in contrast, remains unbeaten after 15 pro fights, since her first pro fight in November 2016. Taylor is clearly in a hurry to make her mark on the sport.
Last month, McCaskill defended her unified titles against Érica Farías in Chicago.
Even more tempting for Taylor could be the challenge of stepping up in weight again and taking on Norway’s Cecilia Braekhus, who holds all four belts at welterweight (147lbs).
A former kickboxer, 38-year-old Braekhus is undefeated in 35 professional fights.
She has reigned as undisputed welterweight champion since 2014, when she became the first woman in any weight class to hold the WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO titles simultaneously.
A feat Taylor emulated in June at lightweight.
Despite being cut early on against Linardatou, Taylor won a unanimous 96-94 97-93 97-93 decision last Saturday night.
It saw her follow in the footsteps of Carl Frampton and Steve Collins to become only Ireland’s third two-weight world champion.
It’s always great to see a game plan come together for a well deserved victory. As Winky Wright once said, “It’s called boxing, not knockouts.” pic.twitter.com/SnhRwiRFNB
— Ross Enamait (@rosstraining) November 4, 2019
“I’m making history again,” said Taylor. “I’m breaking boundaries again and I’m a two-weight world champion – and there’s still more to come.”
The 2012 Olympic gold medallist, added: “We knew Christina was the best 140-pounder in the division and we knew this was going to be a tough 10 rounds. I boxed beautifully on the outside and I boxed smart for a change instead of getting stuck in to a fight.”
Taylor, fighting at Manchester Arena for the third time, had huge support in the crowd with Hearn calling the atmosphere in the venue, and the reception for Taylor, a “game changer”.
“There were so many young girls in here tonight, coming to support their idol. Irish, English, everything,” he said.
“She is a complete game changer; what she’s done for the sport is incredible. It’s opened doors.”