For the first time since the Irish sporting phenom laced on a pair of gloves, questions have begun to be asked about her displays.
Some quarters have her past her peak and making her way down the other side of the mountain and there are Irish fight fans who have expressed real concern for her heading into the mega-fight with Amanda Serrano [42(30)-1-1].
Matchroom boss Hearn admits the displays, that the undisputed lightweight champion put in against Jennifer Hann and Firuza Sharipova in the second part of last year, wouldn’t be good enough to beat the seven-weight world champion – but he doesn’t foresee another one of those coming.
Hearn doesn’t see the world title defences as a sign Ireland’s most admired sports star is on the slide, rather as proof he needed to secure a real fight of note.
Threading quite carefully, knowing the fighter herself will disagree, Hearn suggests motivation was the issue.
“I think they are two fights she wasn’t overly motivated for, subconsciously,” he told Irish-boxing.com.
“If you said to Katie, you weren’t motivated for those fights, she’d take great offence to that because she’s very meticulous in her preparation but if you don’t have fear in a fight you can’t really, I think, raise your performance and your levels to what’s needed,” he adds before suggesting an improved standard of performance is needed for the proposed April 30 Serrano fight.
“The performances that she’s had wouldn’t be good enough to beat Serrano and quite frankly the performances by Serrano recently would not be good enough to beat Katie Taylor.”
While the displays haven’t been to the jaw-dropping Taylor standard, Hearn is adamant she is not regressing.
“Every opponent is hoping she is on the slide. I disagree but she needs this kind of fight because it doesn’t get any bigger.”
The biggest female fight of all time was confirmed for April 30 and Madison Square Garden yesterday evening – and believes it will more than live up to its billing.
The promoter can’t see how the bout won’t catch fire and produce fireworks.
“It is a pure 50/50 fight. Serrano punches very hard, she’s gonna try and walk Katie down, she’s gonna try and beat her up
“Katie’s gonna have to stand and trade. I feel like the fight will be quite similar to (the) Persoon (fight), that thriller, and it’ll be really dangerous.
“I can see both girls getting hurt in the fight. It’s the greatest female fight of all time.
“If this was men’s boxing, it would be the biggest fight in boxing and It will be one of the biggest fights in boxing”
“Katie has to raise her game in this fight, she knows that, and so does Serrano, this fight could go either way, it’s gonna be a thriller.”