A different Katie Taylor but understated chutzpah is still alive
New champion has opted to fight again in December, possibly against Jessica McCaskill
Newly crowned WBA female world lightweight champion Katie Taylor during her homecoming press conference at the Irish Film Institute in Dublin. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA
It was a different Katie Taylor on Tuesday in Dublin. A bruised left eye, a cut along the hairline of her right brow but there was a professional world championship belt in front of her and the understated chutzpah was still alive.
Despite her battle scars, Taylor has opted to fight again on December 15th in the UK, probably London. The venue and opponent will come later but the name they are looking for is American Jessica McCaskill.
It was McCaskill, who felt Taylor disrespected women’s boxing when the Irish 31-year-old called for fighters to step up. For her only bout in America, Taylor’s team went through almost 20 names before they found an opponent, who would agree to fight her.
Taylor on Tuesday explained that no disrespect was intended to any of her potential opponents, that what she wanted was quality opposition. Step up McCaskill.
“It’s going to be a great end of the year I hope. I love the fact I’m staying busy,” said Taylor. “The opportunity to headline a show in December is incredible. This is exactly the way I want it to be.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn has an agreement with Sky for Taylor to headline a show, which unlike her recent previous bouts on the undercard of Anthony Joshua, will not be pay for view. She will become the first woman to headline a Sky boxing event. But even allowing for her range of ability going into action in just six weeks with a cut is a quick turnover.
“Initially straight after the fight the eye was swollen a bit. But the cut isn’t actually that deep,” explained manager Brian Peters.
“A good opportunity came along the second week in December to headline a show on Sky, which is pretty special. It was too hard to turn it down.
“Katie still has a lot to learn. Coming into that fight against Sanchez she had only 32 completed rounds of professional boxing. We all know she is gifted but Sanchez was younger, bigger and heavier, a good fighter.
America again will feature for the early part of Taylor’s New Year before the spring bout in Dublin in the 3 Arena or the RDS. Britain’s Natasha Jonas is likely to feature at some stage over the first six months of next year. It was Taylor’s fight with Jonas in the first round of the London Olympics that was judged to be one of the fights of the Games.
“There are top girls coming up all the time,” added Paters. “You have Top Rank’s Michaela Myer, Eva Walstrom, she talking of moving up. There’s loads of good opponents out there that mean something.
“They will get paid a lot more money, they get a lot more notice, they get to fight for the title and get on big shows, which is important. If they think otherwise they are kidding themselves. Who wouldn’t have wanted to fight on the Joshua card and that’s what Eddie (Hearn) can do.”
For an Irish audience, who won’t pay for viewing, December could be the first opportunity to see Taylor fight live since her defeat in Rio and before that 2012 in London.
Her last competitive bout in Dublin was in 2009, the same day as Bernard Dunne won his world title and the Irish rugby team won the Grand Slam.
“Sky already headlining with Katie, all in a little over 12 months, that’s ground breaking stuff, that’s crazy stuff,” said Peters. “If someone had mentioned that two years ago, you would have thought they were nuts. Then again that’s Katie breaking down barriers.”