Heather Hardy moves into Katie Taylor frame with maiden World Title win


Another potential Katie Taylor foe won significant silverware over the weekend – and made herself even more attractive a prospect for the biggest name in women’s boxing.

Since unifying titles in April of this year the WBA and IBF lightweight strap holder has been vocal about wanting big fights to cement her status as a bonafide star of the sport.

Initially her team bemoaned a lack of willingness from some of the more established names as well as the other champions at the weight and there was genuine concern from Taylor followers as to whether or not she would get the dance partners to allow her to impress the wider public.

However, in recent days and weeks, 2019 has looks increasingly more exciting for the Bray sensation.

Record breaking six-weight world champion Amanda Serrano has signed with Matchroom, making the fight the Olympic gold medal winner has labelled ‘the biggest fight in female boxing’ a cert for 2019 – with the Puerto Rican looking to claim a belt in a seventh weight before taking on Taylor..

Then there is former foe Jessica McCaskill, provider of Taylor’s toughest test to date, who moved up in weight to win the WBC light welterweight world title and remains closely alligned to Matchroom.

The sport’s most consistent current female fighter Cecilia Braekhus, an undisputed welterweight champion, has stated her willingness to meet the 32-year-old at light welter.

Now one of the most popular female fighters on the circuit Heather Hardy [22(4)-0] can boast being a world champ.

Like Chicago’s McCaskill, New York’s Irish-American Hardy won her title on a Matchroom card.

The fan-friendly slugger claimed the WBO featherweight belt on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden with a rematch win over Shelly Vencent, her first world title after being, in part, lured back to boxing from MMA by the possibility of a Taylor pay day.

Hardy’s win came down at featherweight but it does add to her profile and the Lou DiBella fighter has previously expressed a willingness to jump up in weight to face one of the greatest amateurs of all time.

“Like, you talk about Katie Taylor: very, very popular fighter right now, in the spotlight and close enough to my weight class that maybe we can make something happen. A fight with Katie Taylor is one of the only fights that will get me back in the boxing ring,” Hardy told Gavan Casey of the42.ie in an in-depth interview back in May.

“A fight with Katie Taylor would be tremendous – for women, for Brooklyn boxing, for Irish boxing!”

The Hardy scenario is an interesting one.

Such is the relative lack of depth and opportunity, weight jumping in women’s boxing is commonplace and a featherweight moving up two classes to take on a lightweight isn’t unprecedented.

Indeed, in Boston earlier this month, Taylor took on the WBO featherweight title’s previous holder, Cindy Serrano. The older sister of Amanda, however, was a cause of frustration as she looked content to merely last the distance and it is hoped that Hardy, should a bout come to pass, would offer greater ambition.

Taylor [11(5)-0] looks set to take a step toward become undisputed lightweight queen in December with WBO title holder Rose Volante being the targeted opponent.

The Brazilian may not be a big name but does hold a recognised belt and 2019 should then see some massive fights with the likes of Seranno, Hardy, and perhaps even Chantelle Cameron.

Hardy, considering her Irish links, would look to be a perfect match-up for a Taylor fight in New York or Boston – or even back home in Ireland should such a long-promised fight ever occur.

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