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‘Biggest Year Yet’ – Katie Taylor eyes ‘career defining’ 12 months

Katie Taylor [20(6)-0] is hoping 2022 is so big that it ends up being a ‘career defining year’.

Taylor’s status as a boxing legend, a game-changing athlete, and Irish sporting great have already been well and truly cemented.

The Bray favourite has completely changed the face of female boxing, collecting all manner of amateur and pro trinkets along the way.

Her achievements are unrivaled and her status as an all-time great is unquestioned.

However, the undisputed lightweight world champion is hungry for more success and is hopeful the next 12 months will supersede any of the many successful years that has gone before.

Taylor wants to kick off the year by defeating seven weight world champion Amanda Serrano before looking to become an undisputed champion at a second weight and being involved in back to back to back massive fights.

“I think 2022 could potentially be the biggest year of my whole career, because of the opportunities I’ll have to be involved in the biggest fights that women’s boxing has seen,” she told ESPN.

“I don’t know the order my fights will go in for sure, but I know that the next fight has to be against Amanda Serrano. I would be hugely disappointed if it wasn’t. It feels like people have been talking about this Serrano fight for years now, and people are excited to finally see it happen.

“It’s obviously been scheduled to happen a couple of times previously and fallen through for whatever reasons on her side. But hopefully this time it does happen.

“After that, I’m not sure. I just take it one fight at a time. This game, that’s the way you have to look at things — one fight at a time, one opponent at a time — so that’s the only fight I’m focusing on right now. But I think it could kick off a career-defining year for me. I’m looking at a chance to become an undisputed champion in multiple divisions and an opportunity to be involved in the biggest fights in women’s boxing.”

Katie Taylor vs Firuza Sharipova, WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO and Ring Magazine Lightweight Titles, Liverpool 11 December 2021 Picture By Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing Katie Taylor with Eddie Hearn

Serrano is the biggest fight out there for the Olympic medal winner at present but the likes of Jessica McCaskill and Chantelle Cameron have done well – in and out of the ring – in creating their own Taylor narratives – and have become viable mega fight options in the process.

“Outside of Serrano, you have Jessica McCaskill or Chantelle Cameron, if she fights Kali Reis and becomes undisputed at junior welterweight. These are the types of names that could make for huge, huge fights. These are super fights, not just in women’s boxing but boxing as a whole. The attention fights like those could possibly bring to the sport would be unreal, so I think this could be a very historic year for me.”

The number of possible big fight foes there are now reflects the massive Taylor inspired change in women’s boxing.

Discussing that growth the 35-year-old adds “I told Eddie Hearn that I wanted to get women’s boxing to a place where the UFC already was at that time,” Taylor reminisced.

“Back then, Ronda Rousey was probably the biggest name in the UFC, and since then so many more female stars have emerged in MMA.

“Women’s professional boxing was still pretty much under the radar at that point, though. At the start of my pro career, every time I was fighting I felt like I had to prove myself, even to the people watching.

“And you’re thinking to yourself, ‘OK, are they looking at me as if this is a circus act, or are they going to treat me like a genuine fighter?’ I wanted to be treated like a genuine fighter who just loves the sport and takes it very seriously, and thankfully we’re in a position now where I think a lot of the household names are actually female fighters. It’s remarkable.”

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com