Katie Taylor to defend world titles on Canelo-Fielding undercard

Unbeaten Taylor will face Eva Wahlstrom at Madison Square Garden on December 15th

It has been confirmed that Katie Taylor will defend her IBF and WBA World Lightweight titles against Eva Wahlstrom at Madison Square Garden, New York on December 15th, on the undercard of Canelo Alvarez challenging Rocky Fielding for the WBA World Super Middleweight title.

Taylor (11-0-0, five KOs) makes the third defence of her belts in her third bout in New York and the fourth stateside fight in her last seven.

The Irish lightweight became the WBA World champion in her seventh professional outing in Cardiff in October 2017 against Anahi Sanchez and unified the belts at the Barclays Center in just her ninth fight in the paid ranks, when she took the IBF belt from Victoria Bustos in April.

In unbeaten Wahlstrom, the 32-year-old Taylor faces the stiffest test of her career so far, although the Finn is 38-years-old, six older than Taylor.


Wahlstrom (22-0-1, three KOs) is aiming to become a two-weight world champion. The long-reigning WBC super-featherweight champion steps up to lightweight to achieve that goal against Taylor.

The pair have history and clashed at the start of Taylor’s amateur career 14 years ago. Taylor beat Wahlstrom the in the 60kg final to win at the 2005 European Amateur Championships in Tønsberg, Norway - the first of her six European gold medals.

Ahead of the fight. which is being brodcast on Sky Sports, Taylor said: “Eva is someone I know very well from our time in the amateurs.

“I was actually drawn against her in my very first international competition back in 2004 and it seemed like every time I turned up to a major competition after that she was in the draw!

“She was always a really tough opponent so it’s no surprise that she’s gone on to have a great professional career.

“I’ve been lucky enough to fight in some iconic venues since turning pro two years ago but I’m not sure there’s any more iconic in a boxing sense than Madison Square Garden.”

Meanwhile Wahlstrom believes it will be the toughest fight of her career.

“I have stated for a longest time that I am ready and I want to engage in toughest fights available,” she said. “This is the ultimate, biggest and toughest fight anywhere.

“I lost to Katie few times in amateur days but I am sure I won her respect anyway. Now in a 10-round pro fight, it will be totally different game with all new avenues to avenge those defeats.”

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson is a sports writer with The Irish Times