Taylor plans to take another step towards world title fight

Irish boxer will add another fight to her schedule after Jasmine Clarkson bout

Katie Taylor: having trouble lining up quality opponents as she plots a route towards a world title tilt.

Katie Taylor will squeeze another fight into her schedule after tonight's meeting with Jasmine Clarkson on the undercard of the Super-Lightweight clash between Adrien Broner and Mikey Garcia at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn.

Taylor is hoping to have a shot at a world title in Ireland in the autumn with her camp feeling that another contest between now and then would line her up perfectly for a Dublin title fight in the 3 Arena.

It will be Taylor’s professional US debut against an opponent who has lost more times than she has won and she goes into it as heavy favourite to add to her five career wins in the professional ranks, three of those by stoppage.

The tale of this fight, and her last one in Wembley Stadium where Taylor fought before the heavyweight battle between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko, is the difficulty she has had in being matched with suitable opponents.


For the Wembley fight her team went through 20 names before German Nina Meinke agreed and this time they have had even more difficulty before 21-year-old southpaw Clarkson agreed just four days out from fight day.

Many of the top Americans don’t want to know about stepping in with Taylor, who has not been troubled by any of her opponents so far. Her amateur career eclipses everybody and tonight’s fight is as much about exposing the 31-year-old to the US market as adding another name to her defeated list.

Boxing Rec have Taylor ranked at 9th from 120 in the lightweight division with Clarkson at 27. The number one is Delfine Persoon, the Belgian policewoman, who has won 38 and lost once.

Clarke comes into the bout with four wins from 12 bouts but with a reputation as a tough fighter, who has never been stopped. Her last outing was on July 8th, when she lost to Kimberly Connor in Baton Rouge. Connor improved her numbers to 13 wins from 18 fights with two drawn.

The disparity in class suggests that Taylor’s desire to go eight rounds may not be fulfilled tonight, although her experience will tell her to tread cautiously.

“I definitely feel ready for a World title fight now,” she said earlier this week.

That’s the feeling most people have. When she does get a shoot at the title and if she wins it, the trouble in finding better opponents will end. First The Barclays Centre and Jasmine Clarkson.

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson is a sports writer with The Irish Times