Katie Taylor world title fight may be in Dublin in November
Boxer’s manager also seeks to get her on the Ward v Kovalev rematch card in June
Katie Taylor celebrating winning WBA intercontinental lightweight title after beating German boxer Nina Meinke. Photograph: Lawrence Lustig/Inpho
After each of her professional fights, five of them now, Katie Taylor has zoned in on an aspect over which she’s mulling and critical. After her Wembley experience it was the jab, one of her best shots.
Chasing the perfect bout can become its own task master or even obsession and, in the case of the Irish lightweight, a driving force towards what will now be a world championship fight in Dublin’s Three Arena in November.
There’s no certainty in these plans and as Taylor also hopes to get on to the card for the rematch of Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev scheduled for June 17th in Las Vegas, her view on dates, times and opponents has become one of blissful nonchalance, strictly a management issue.
For her, it would be a first time fighting in Las Vegas and although she did some sparring in the Wild Card gym in Los Angeles prior to a photoshoot many years ago – a session that ended with a black eye – she has never boxed competitively in the United States.
“The plan is to get on it,” says her manager Brian Peters. “It will be eight or 10 rounds. The plan is November, Dublin for the world title.”
Katie blows with the wind in these decisions, both ready to face anyone right now and always seeking more experience. Her career curve remains as steep as her dominance of the opponents who have faced her, Germany’s Nina Meinke the fifth to come and go as another spirited but outclassed lightweight.
“I do feel ready but at the same time I would probably prefer to have one or two more 10 rounders under my belt. Look whatever . . . ,” she says.
‘Can’t keep going’
“It depends on what comes up. If I am on the Ward v Kovalev bill that’s in June, I’ll obviously take a week off or so and get back into training. If that is not the case then I will take a longer break because I can’t keep going with this schedule.”
It has been difficult to get opponents to fight her, although the short time frame of four weeks between this and her last fight was too short for many of them to agree to step in.
“I think what’s happening is there’s a lot of good opponents out there who are probably waiting until Katie becomes world champion because they know they’re going to get a lot more money,” says Peters.
According to him, they had spoken to about 20 opponents before Meinke took the fight.
Taylor’s American coach Ross Enamait is more pointed and he has become aware that there are still doubters around believing her gender does not fit.
“That’s just boxing – there’s a lot of closed people on both sides, but I think it’s particularly with the women,” he says.
“Roger Mayweather is right when he says, ‘Most people don’t know shit about boxing’. But I think it’s even more so when it comes to women’s boxing because a lot of times they aren’t on television, so they have no idea what’s out there.
“Most of the casual fans don’t pay attention to what’s happening so they have no idea about what’s even out there. They just get online and spew their opinions.”
Pushing against prejudice
Being told no has been part of Taylor’s life story. Women fight two-minute rounds, not three as men do and for no reason.
Hers continues to be one of pushing against prejudice and while Eddie Hearn and Sky are committed, the keyboard warriors, well, they are always going to be there.
“You can’t pay too much attention to it but every now and then it’s nice to let them know that they’re f*****g clueless,” says Enamait, sweetly hitting the mark.
Meinke was stopped in the seventh round after the referee had seen enough one-sided boxing, Taylor again quicker, stronger and controlling the tempo.
It was the right call as the 23-year-old southpaw’s left eye had swollen and she was unable to land with Taylor earning the WBA intercontinental lightweight title.
“I’m not too concerned when I fight or where I fight for a world title,” says Taylor, “I want just to fight for a world title somewhere”.