Eddie Hearn: Katie Taylor is one of the Top 5 in Irish and British boxing
Katie Taylor [7(4)-0] is a bonafide star of boxing according to promoter Eddie Hearn.
The Bray favourite has been a household name in Ireland since her London heroics in 2012, but her World title win last Saturday has ensured she is among the top five names in the sport across Ireland and Britain according to the Matchroom boss..
Indeed, Hearn claims Taylor is now up there with the likes of pay per view stars Anthony Joshua, Kell Brook, Tony Bellew, and even David Haye in terms of being a recognizable name.
Hearn outlined how “I think that when you look at the stars, now, of British and Irish boxing, you’d have to put Katie certainly in the top 10 in terms of household names in the sport – maybe top five. And that’s men and women, by the way.”
“Obviously she’s the standout in the women’s game, but in the mixed game, in terms of [being] a draw, in terms of excitement, I would say she’s top five across the board, and that’s with the likes of AJ [Anthony Joshua], Kell Brook, Bellew and Haye – she’s right up there.”
Taylor claimed her maiden world title at the weekend in Cardiff, outpointing tough Argentinian Anahi Sanchez, and will defend her WBA lightweight belt on Friday December 15th in London.
The fact Taylor tops a show just seven weeks after claiming her first pro World title proves Hearn isn’t just playing lip service to her increasing profile – and Sky boxing’s head honcho reaction to the idea shows the Bray puncher must have TV pulling power.
“I text Adam Smith [Sky Sports Head of Boxing] and I said: ‘I’m thinking of headlining Katie in maybe London in December.’ And he just replied: ‘Aw, I was hoping you’d say that! Great idea.'”
Hearn also believes Taylor has managed to break barriers in terms of making being seen as a quality boxer rather than a just a quality female athlete.
Over the years in Ireland there were enough sparring stories to suggest the nineteen time major medal winner was one of the best in the country regardless of gender.
However, Joe Public is no longer making a distinction according to the man who also promotes Ireland’s only other world champ, Ryan Burnett.
“No one’s really talking about it anymore,” noted Hearn. “They’re not really saying it anymore, it’s more about the fight, the performance.”
“She hasn’t really had many dull performances, they’ve all been very exciting. Wembley was a huge first impression and then she’s boxed Manchester Arena, Wembley Stadium, the Principality Stadium, obviously the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn as well.”
“I don’t really look it as women’s boxing and men’s boxing. If it’s a good fight, it’s a good fight. I think now people are starting to look at it like that. People are actually going to their seats early and saying ‘oh Katie Taylor is on’. You can hear it around ringside, ‘oh have you seen her fight?’ She’s seen it her whole life, the perception and boundaries but I think it’s just breaking down.”
“I mean, she’s dealt with it her whole life – the perception, the boundaries – but I think it’s just breaking down. And actually, yesterday when we were talking to Brian [Peters, manager] about fighting on the Haye-Bellew card on December 17th, I sort of said to Brian: ‘I think we should come out of the shadows a bit now. Maybe we should headline our own show.'”