Katie Taylor set to lead Irish charge on Joshua-Miller undercard


Katie Taylor [12(5)-0] has the opportunity and the pathway in front of her to fight for the undisputed lightweight championship of the world on a monster card this summer.

The WBA and IBF champion still has to defeat WBO titlist Rose Volante [14(8)-0] in Philadelphia next month but, if she can overcome this hurdle, her team are confident that they can make a fight for all the belts with WBC champion Delfine Persoon [42(17)-0] for the Madison Square Garden Arena in New York on Saturday June 1st.

This afternoon it was confirmed that WBA-IBF-WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will make his Stateside debut, headlining the above card against local character Jarrell Miller live on DAZN and Sky Sports Box Office.

It is Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn’s intention for the fight card to have a Britain and Ireland v America theme and he hopes for Taylor to feature prominently in this regard..

Persoon’s team had initially been keen for any unification or undisputed fight with Taylor to take place in the veteran’s home country of Belgium but they did admit, in December, that an Anthony Joshua undercard spot could sway them to travel and it is hoped and assumed that this remains the case.

Like Taylor against Volante at the Liacouras Center on Match 15th, Persoon has a fight to get through first and will face Haitian-American Melissa St. Vil [11(1)-3(0)-4] in Kortrijk on Saturday March 9th in what looks to be her toughest match-up in years.

Assuming both get through, a lucrative and high-profile fight in the Big Apple awaits.

Outlining his plans for the bill, Hearn told iFL TV that he wants “a major fight for [Joshua] Buatsi if he can come through [Liam] Conroy, I’d like to take Josh Kelly there, I’d like to do Tommy Coyle against Chris Algieri, I’d like to Ricky Burns against Ray Beltran, I’d like to do [Kal] Yafai against [Donnie] Nietes in a unification fight.”

“There are some other world championship fights I’m looking at as well. Literally, I want ten Brits – and Irish – down one side of the card.”

“I’m hoping that, if Katie Taylor can get through Volante, maybe we can do the undisputed fight with Persoon for all the belts on that card as well.”

Away from Taylor, there are a number of Irish fighters linked to Matchroom.

IBF super bantam champ TJ Doheny [21(15)-0], former WBA and IBF bantam champ Ryan Burnett [19(9)-1(1)], and upcoming IBF super featherweight title challenger Jono Carroll [16(3)-0-1] are all promoted by Hearn.

Doheny looks extremely unlikely to be on the June 1st card as he is set to face WBA champ Danny Roman in LA on April 6th.

Carroll is assumedly not who Hearn had in mind when he made today’s announcement. ‘King Kong’ tops the bill Taylor v Volante features on in a challenge of world champ Tevin Farmer – and could perhaps squeeze onto the June card if he can cause a shock on March 15th.

Burnett is an interesting one. The Belfast boxer lost his world title in November when he suffered a freak injury in his WBSS quarter-final versus Nonito Donaire. The Antrim Road fighter has restarted training in recent weeks and could be back to full fitness by the summertime.

Away from the Matchroom-promoted Irish fighters, there is also the likes of recent title challenger James Tennyson [23(19)-3(3)] who is managed by Mark Dunlop – who has a close working relationship with Hearn.

In addition, there are other Irish fighters, both pro and amateur, that are attracting the attention of DAZN and Matchroom-affiliated promoters on the U.S. East Coast and there has already been one such move with Waterford’s Dylan Moran [9(5)-0] signing a promotional deal with Star Boxing earlier this week.

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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