It was reported last week that the Wicklow lightweight was close to having a fight confirmed versus reigning WBC super featherweight champion Eva Wahstrom [22(3)-0-1].
This evening the fight with the Finn has been confirmed and Wahlstrom will step up one class to lightweight to challenge for Taylor’s WBA and IBF belts at the Madison Square Garden Arena on Saturday December 15th.
The fight is one of the chief supports on the big Canelo Alvarez v Rocky Fielding DAZN ‘blockbuster’ undercard at the famous New York venue on Saturday December 15th.
Taylor [11(5)-0] had been mooted to feature on the card ever since her domination of Cindy Cerrano back in October but, with time getting tight and a lack of willing top challengers, it looked like the Bray boxer was set to defend her belts against a weaker foe.
However, in a quick turn of events, 38-year-old Wahlstrom saw a title defence versus Russian Firuza Sharipova fall through and the brave Baltic boxer elected to take the Taylor opportunity.
“This is an amazing opportunity for Katie to fight at MSG,” said promoter Eddie Hearn.
“This is by far the toughest fight of her career so far and hugely important moving into 2019.”
“There will be great Irish support in New York and she adds even more superstar status to this brilliant night of boxing on DAZN.”
Having previously met in multi-nations, Taylor fought Wahlstrom 13 years ago in Norway in the final of the European Championships where she edged the Finn 19-17 under the old scoring system to win her first of six continental golds. The then pair met the following year at the World Championships in New Delhi where Taylor won via second-round stoppage under the old ‘outclassed’ rule en-route to her first gold.
As a pro, Wahlstrom won and defended the European super featherweight title before claiming the WBC crown in 2015 with a win over Natalia Aguirre. Since then she has defended the belt four times, most recently versus American Melissa St Vil in April – another potential Taylor foe.
The pair share three common pro opponents. Wahlstrom was held to an early-career draw by Milena Kovleva, the former world title challenger whom Taylor defeated in her fourth fight, and also went the distance with Karina Kopinska who the Bray boxer stopped inside three.
At world title level, bout have outpointed Argentinian Anahi Esther Sanchez.
The card next weekend also features an IBF super featherweight title defence from Tevin Farmer versus Francisco Fonseca, a middleweight clash between David Lemieux and Tureano Johnson, and fights for Sadam Ali, Yves Ulysse, Lamont Roach, Bilal Akkawy, Ryan Garcia, and Vergil Ortiz.