CONFIRMED: Opponent for Katie Taylor’s first World Title Defence


Katie Taylor‘s first defence of her WBA lightweight title has been finally officially confirmed.

As previously revealed by promoter Eddie Hearn, the Wicklow fighter will become the first woman to headline a Sky Sports bill when she puts her belt on the line at the York Hall in London on Wednesday December 13th.

This afternoon Taylor’s opponent was confirmed and, as expected, American Jessica McCaskill [5(3)-1(0)] will challenge for the Bray boxer’s title.

The Chicago based puncher and her team have been calling for a bout with Taylor in recent months, and the 33 year old presents a hard-hitting and confident foe – albeit with little top-level experience.

McCaskill debuted in 2015 before losing her second fight the following year – a four-round split to Katonya Fisher. CasKILLA bounced back with four straight wins, including a victory over super featherweight contender Carla Torres.

The St. Louis slugger has recently entered into the WBA 135lbs rankings at #2, and the fight will be a voluntary defence for 31 year old Taylor.

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Hearn had initially earmarked Friday December 15th as the date for the card, but the show was moved forward so as to lead-in to the Tony Bellew v David Haye pay-per-view rematch fight week rather than occurring right in the middle of it.

The fight comes just six and a half weeks after Taylor claimed the title, with an Irish homecoming at the 3Arena planned for a second defence, and perhaps unification, next April – although McCaskill can’t be overlooked.

Taylor won the belt last month in Cardiff, dropping and outpointing two-weight champ Anahi Esther Sanchez at the Principality Stadium on the Anthony Joshua v Carlos Takam heavyweight title undercard.

While there are no Irish fighters currently on the undercard, there are two of Irish descent.

In the chief support, Martin J Ward will take on Juli Giner for the vacant European super featherweight title, while Miles Shinkwin will take on Jake Ball in a light heavyweight contest.

In addition there are also slots for Gamal Yafai, Lawrence Okolie, Isaac Chamberlain, and Joe Cordina, with more to be announced.

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie