Katie Taylor: ‘I am ready now to box for a world title’
Irish boxer set for Las Vegas fight in June before Dublin world title contest later in the year
Katie Taylor in action against Nina Meinke during their WBA Inter-Continental Lightweight Championship bout at Wembley Stadium in London. Photograph: Nick Potts/PA Wire
Katie Taylor’s next professional fight could be in Las Vegas at the end of June.
The lightweight, who won her fifth professional bout for the Intercontinental Lightweight Championship on Saturday hopes to be on the undercard of Andre Ward’s rematch with Sergey Kovalev, if Sky can become involved in the broadcasting.
She also hopes to stage a world title fight in the 3 Arena in Dublin in October or November.
Taylor said she felt the pressure of the occasion in her Wembley Stadium win and although she was on early in the evening and the stadium was not yet full, the build-up and occasion was exceptional.
“I definitely felt the magnitude of the occasion all right. I was saying to Brian [Peters, her manager] it is the first time I felt as nervous as I did in London 2012, really. I definitely felt the pressure.
“I definitely felt how big the occasion was. You just have to focus on the fight. There is a ring in the middle of the stadium and you just have to box as normal and stay focused.
“It’s incredible to have been on such a big stage, the biggest fight in British boxing history so it’s incredible. It really is.”
Peters also believed the week was unusual with Anthony Joshua carrying British hopes and the 90,000 attendance breaking post-war British records.
“It was a crazy week it was mad. Just supersize everything,” said Peters, who added the cut over opponent Nina Meinke’s eye happened in the fifth round and was not a clash of heads.
Taylor said that she was trying to pace herself in what was her first 10 by two minute scheduled fight, although it lasted only until it was stopped by the referee in the seventh round, her third inside the distance in her five professional bouts.
“I thought the pace of the fight was quite good,” said Taylor. “I eased myself into it and I was conscious that was a 10 round fight. Definitely, yeah a bit of pacing.
“I always expect the toughest of fights every time I step into the ring but I had to get my distance as well. I didn’t want to blow my load!”
Some German journalists at Wembley were annoyed that the referee stopped the fight when he did, claiming Meinke was still in the game. It was a minority view.
“I was delighted,” said Taylor. “When I saw the cut coming up on her face I thought, ‘Thank God, hopefully the ref steps in’. I think she was getting marked up right from the first round.”
As ever, though, improvement is needed with Taylor believing that her trusty jab was not used as effectively as it should have been.
“I’m always a bit critical of myself and I thought I was a bit scrappy at times. She was a great opponent and I was expecting a tough fight,” said Taylor.
“These are the moments I dream of and hopefully it is the first of many. I hope to unify the division soon.
“I think I need a couple more 10 rounders under my belt, but I feel I am ready now to box for a world title. I will leave that to Eddie [Hearn].
“I didn’t perform to my best tonight and I am going to go back to the drawing board and continue to improve. The people around me are incredible and together we are the dream team.”