Katie Taylor [18(6)-0] is adamant she has plenty more to achieve and plenty of time to achieve it.
The Irish sensation has no immediate plans to hang up her gloves and walk away from competing in a sport she has dominated be it amateur or pro for well over a decade.
Speaking ahead of her mandatory defence against American Jennifer Han [18(1)3(0)-1] set for Headingley Stadium, Leeds this Saturday night the undisputed lightweight champion revealed the fire still burns and is confident she has enough fuel in the tank to keep it lit.
The Brian Peters managed fighter plans to prove as much live on DAZN this Saturday and is predicting one of her best ever performances on Matchroom’s Josh Warrington vs Mauricio Lara rematch card.
“I know I can’t do this forever but I still feel very fresh,” said the 35-year-old. “I’ve still plenty more years left in the ring.
“This training camp has gone great, I feel sharp and strong. I can’t wait to produce one of my best performances on Saturday night.”
“I said to her after she fought Cindy Serrano in Philadelphia — we were planning her future and I said to her, ‘How many more fights have you got?’” Hearn recalls. “‘Five or six?’
Promoter Eddie Hearn has quickly learnt retirement or exit plans with Taylor.
“She looked at me like she was going to kill me. She goes, ‘What do you mean?’ I genuinely had to pretend I was joking.
Han will make for Taylor’s eighth fight since that night in October 2018.
“If you said to her now, ‘You’ve got another five fights’, she really wouldn’t believe what you’re saying,” Hearn smiles. “She’d go, ‘What are you talking about?’
Taylor’s latest fight, her nineteenth since turning professional is her first in front of a crowd in over a year. The Bray native fights at the home of Leed’s Rhino’s and the fighter whose father, respected coach Pete Taylor, hails from Leeds can’t wait to sample the live atmosphere again.
“This is the first fight in a long time where I’ll box in front of a live crowd,” she said.
“The fact it’s here in Leeds, some of my best memories as a kid was visiting this city and going to Leeds United games at Elland Road.
“This city has a special place in my heart and I never thought I’d actually have the chance to fight here. I’m just so excited about it.”
Taylor goes into her mandated defence as a massive favourite. Han, although a former world champion at featherweight, isn’t deemed to carry the kind of threat brought by Natasha Jonas, Delfine Persoon or Jessica McCaskill.
However, the champion foresees a test and is expecting a difficult fight.
“This is a huge fight for both of us,” said continues. “I don’t overlook anybody, I can’t afford to get complacent.
“If you get complacent that’s when you start losing fights. I have prepared for this fight just like I prepare for any fight. I’m expecting a tough challenge on Saturday and I’m prepared for that.”