“Huge mistake” with Claressa Shields will not happen to Katie Taylor promises Hearn

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Matchroom chief Eddie Hearn has promised that he will not make the same “huge mistake” made by HBO and RocNation on Saturday night.

Claressa Shields made her debut on the Andre Ward v Sergey Kovalev undercard in Las Vegas in Saturday, but Hearn, who was ringside that night, does not intend for the same set of circumstances to play out for his new signing Katie Taylor when she begins her pro career in London this coming Saturday.

Double Olympic gold medalist Shields appeared on the non-PPV portion of the card at the T-Mobile Arena, where the Michigan middleweight outpointed Franchon Crews in a four-round brawl that took place in front of a miniscule crowd in the late afternoon. An exciting fight, Hearn feels Taylor can be similarly entertaining, but has stressed that he will provide a much better platform for the Bray light welter.

Speaking today at the press conference in Dublin ahead of Taylor’s debut at the Wembley Arena v Karina Kopinska, Hearn recalled how Shields “was fight of the night, the only thing that was missing was that they put her on at 5:30 in front of ten percent of the crowd. She was entertaining – that’s what I believe Katie Taylor will bring to the World of boxing, entertainment.”

“Styles in women’s boxing are everything. I was there on Saturday night, and they made a huge mistake. They should have put her on just before the main event and the place would have gone nuts, that’s what we’ll do with Katie Taylor.”

This prominent positioning of the Wicklow 30 year old will begin on Saturday, before a slot on the Anthony Joshua v Eric Molina PPV undercard in Manchester and a slot on a Gennady Golovkin undercard at Madison Square Garden.

Hearn wants to go global with Taylor, and is eyeing cards in Scandinavia, America, England, the Far East, and of course back in Ireland.

The English promoter described how “there’s an appetite in America for women’s boxing at the moment, you saw that at the weekend with Claressa Shields, so it’s all about momentum.”

“We’re also speaking to the Sauerlands about fighting in Scandanavia, it’s big out there, it’s an important market. The Sauerlands have a deal with Viasat, a broadcaster, it’s already an active market.”

“Anywhere that’s active, and we want to break down barriers in new markets. The UK is a completely new market for women’s boxing, America is opening, Scandinavia is already there, I’m not ruling out the Far East as well, that’s starting to grow.”

“This first year is about raising the profile, turning her into a global star.”

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