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Katie Taylor to headline massive Manchester card?

Just when you thought there was no more trails to be blazed or trends to be set, Katie Taylor is breaking new ground yet again.

News broke this week that the female fight pioneer would trade leather for the first time since becoming undisputed lightweight world champion in England on Saturday November 2nd.

It was also confirmed that London 2012 Olympic gold medal winner would return to the top of the bill just short of a year after she became the first female to headline a Sky Sports broadcast fight card.

Most surmised that the Bray fighter would return to York Hall, the venue where as a historic bill topper she defeated Jessica McCaskill to retain her WBA lightweight crown.

However, Irish-Boxing.com can reveal that Matchroom intend to use a bigger venu.

In fact Taylor looks set to top an arena card and will headline a bill at the Manchester Arena. Manchester nor it’s Arena have officially been confirmed for Taylor’s first bout since becoming Ireland’s first undisputed champ in the four belt era, but Irish-Boxing.com have it from good sources that the next Taylor will play out at the significant venue.

The five-time amateur world champion and four belt pro champion of the world will be the main event for the second time, but this time in a venue that holds 21,000 extra people.

It’s a massive achievement for the Wicklow native and indicates just how popular she has become. It’s also another significant statement for women’s boxing and female sport in general.

The arena formerly known as the MEN has had some massive names as headline acts. The 22,000 seater indoor venue was the home of Ricky Hatton, and has played host to massive fights for David Haye, Naseem Hamed, Anthony Joshua, Mike Tyson, Chris Eubank and many many more.

The arena was also deemed big enough to host Carl Froch versus George Groves I as well as Joe Calzaghe versus Jeff Lacy – not to mention Carl Frampton’s super bantamweight unification versus Scott Quigg.

Also from an Irish perspective, Taylor will follow in the footsteps of Steve Collins, Eamonn Magee, and Paul McCloskey as fighters from these shores to cross the water and headline at the sizeable venue – while Taylor herself has previously appeared on two undercards in the city centre arena.

Who the WBA, WBC, WBO, IBF and Ring Magazine holder will compete against in Manchester has yet to be confirmed, but as stated here on a number of occasions over the last few weeks, Christina ‘Medusa’ Linardatou looks the most likely.

The Dominican Republic-born Greece-based WBO light welterweight world champion and her team have both confirmed contact has been made, but told Irish-Boxing.com the offer wasn’t sufficient. They have now teamed up with Lou DiBella, who also promotes Amanda Serrano and Heather Hardy, to try and secure an improved offer from Matchroom.

Serrano, a Delfine Persoon rematch, and second fight with Jessica McCaskill were all possible options, but it’s believed Brian Peters and Eddie Hearn wanted the history narrative for Taylor next. Thus she will move up in a bid to become a two-weight world champion and ‘mega fights’ with the likes of Serrano and Persoon will be held off until next year.

Chicago native McCaskill is a two belt light welterweight champion and her WBA and WBC straps looked appealing, but the American is being left for a possible second undisputed fight which leaves Linardatou in Taylor and career best pay day pole.

The Greek based world champion and her team seem to have enough patter to play a real part in promoting the fight, but Matchroom may be banking on a large Irish contingent traveling to Manchester to fill the venue.

With ‘the current climate’ not allowing the 32-year-old Irish hero to fight at home, Manchester seems the next best thing in terms of accessibility for Irish fans, particularly considering it looks as if all the Wicklow woman’s 2020 fights will take place in America.

To increase the potential of an Irish invasion, Hearn may look to add some Irish fighters to the undercard. James Tennyson is set to fight a week prior in London, he may be open to moving his British title final eliminator versus Craig Evans further north. Tommy McCarthy may also look to benefit from Mark Dunlop’s relationship with Hearn and secure a slot on the card, whilst Jono Carroll and TJ Doheny as the other Irish names on the Matchroom books may be considered.


Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com