Hearn wants Taylor to achieve same stardom as female UFC fighters

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Within the endless, and essentially unanswerable, boxing v mixed martial arts debate, there is one aspect where MMA undeniably holds boxing in a tight rear naked chokehold – women.

Perhaps it is due to organised MMA being a relatively young sport compared to boxing, or maybe it is all down to marketing, but the powers that be in the octagon, at least recently, give far more prominence to their female fighters.

Fighters such as Ronda Rousey, Holly Holm (herself a former boxing world champion), Miesha Tate, and Cris Cyborg, are some of the biggest names in the sport.

Now, Matchroom head-honcho Eddie Hearn wants to do something similar with new Irish signing Katie Taylor – who becomes the third active Irish professional female boxer after upcoming WBA super flyweight title challenger Christina McMahon and Kilbarrack KO artist Lynn Harvey.

The English promoter believes that entertainment, rather than gender, is what sells, something he feels that the London 2012 gold medalist can bring to boxing. While this may be true, he also noted an encouraging growing demand for coverage of women in sport, something he plans to put Bray lightweight Taylor at the forefront of.

Hearn told RTÉ Sport how “we’ve seen it with UFC. The likes of Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm – it doesn’t really matter if you’re male or female. If you click with the public, if you’re exciting to watch, then you’re going to become a star.”

“I had meetings with Sky Sports, I told them about the contact I had with Katie Taylor. Obviously she is an ambassador for them as well and there seems to be a real appetite and demand at the moment for women’s sport on the channel.”

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