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Plans for Katie Taylor to Headline in USA in 2019

Katie Taylor made history last December when she became the first female pro to officially headline a Sky Sports card.

The Bray lightweight’s debut had been something of a de-facto headliner but her first WBA title defence against Jessica McCaskill at the York Hall in London really was ‘the Katie Taylor show’.

Now, if her team get their way, Taylor [12(5)-0] will become a headline attraction in America inside the next 12 months.

The unified WBA and IBF champion is one of the leading names on the emerging DAZN over-the-top streaming service, featuring on two of the platform’s early cards, and manager Brian Peters plans for Taylor to top a bill in the United States next year.

“There is [a chance of Taylor headlining in the USA in 2019], certainly is,” Peters revealed.

“We have talked about that, so that’s a good possibility. New York, Boston.”

“I believe Katie Taylor is the biggest game changer boxing has ever seen and only a few steps on the journey and a long way to go yet.”

“Keeping busy and breaking new ground is the name of the game. Boston was different, Chicago is a possibility.”

READ: Gavan Casey – Taylor paying price for changing the game

Outlining potential headline opponents, Peters has three names in mind but notes how circumstances and timings will dictate this.

The Meath fight boss described how “There is still Amanda Serrano – we had planned for that fight maybe in September we have have got to see.”

“There is Cecillia Brækhus, the 147lb champion, but if that fight was to happen we wanted Katie to be the undisputed champions at 135lb. They would meet somewhere in the middle at 140lb – two undisputed champions hasn’t been done since the 1930s, that would be very special and get it back to the old days when everybody knew who the champion was there was one champion per division.”

“Holly Holm is another big name. She whs a couple of fights left with the UFC so we have to see what happens there.”

“Everyone has their own plans and their own journeys.”

For Taylor, one name sticks out.

“The likes of Amanda Serrano would definitely sell out somewhere,” the Olympic gold medallist suggests.

The six-weight champion looks to make further female boxing history when she goes for a belt in her seventh weight division next month.

The weight-jumping Puerto Rican takes on Austrian Eva Boraberger for the vacant WBO super flyweight title at Madison Square Garden in New York on January 18th.

It is the first fight of Serrano’s three-fight deal with Matchroom and DAZN and would build towards Peters’s aforementioned September date.

Of course, there has been plenty of build-up already, with Taylor dominating Serrano’s elder sister Cindy in Boston back in October and being confronted by morally questionable trainer Jordan Maldonado afterwards.

All in all, Peters believes “a fight of that significance could be a main event.”

“That is a nice place to be, headlining on the show but the opponent has to be, Serrano would fit the bill, Brækhus, Holm, potentially some of the other girls.”

“It’s been a great year and we just want a big year now. Undisputed champ is where we want to be this time next year,” he added, although efforts to get WBO champ Rose Volante have failed thus far.

While the signs look good for a big spot in America, a homecoming in Ireland looks as far away as ever.

Last April Taylor was provisionally slated to headline the 3Arena but this date was ditched in favour of a uninfication in New York and it has since been said that the ‘climate is not right’ for a fight at home – although a Cork festival fight has been suggested by Sky Sports Head of Boxing Adam Smith.

READ: Smith hopes for Katie Taylor Festival Fight Weekend

When asked about fighting in Ireland for the first time as a pro, Peters was non-commital.

“Potentially,” he said. “Possibly. We would love it to happen.”

“It’s probably a question for Eddie [Hearn, promoter] really. We would love to, really, who wouldn’t want to fight here?”

“But Eddie has his own plans too and he’s pushing hard with that. He has crazy shows next year, I think it’s something like 50 or 60 shows. But Eddie and Sky have been fantastic too.”


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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