Katie Taylor won’t overlook “very, very strong” Volante despite press conference no-show


Katie Taylor didn’t get to size up Rose Volante at the press conference to officially announce an heavily Irish influenced March 15th Philadelphia card.

The WBO world lightweight champion elected against attending the press conference in favour of staying in Brazil to train ahead of the St Patrick’s Weekend clash at the Liacouras Center – meaning WBA-IBF titlist Taylor didn’t get to check out her opponent in the flesh six weeks out from their unification bout.

With the journey from Sao Paolo being a long one – and Volante [14(8)-0] not being able to speak English – it was decided that she would add little to the press event that was mainly focused on the headline clash between local world champion Tevin Farmer and Ireland’s Jono Carroll.

Volante’s non-attendance stirred some talk – with suggestions that her absence indicated the one-sided nature of the DAZN-broadcast match-up.

However, the Connecticut-based Taylor [12(5)-0] promises that she is giving ‘The Queen Rose’ her full respect and rates the South American as a fighter.

The Bray boxer noted how Volante is “very, very strong, big right hand, undefeated obviously, she is great fighter, very accomplished and again someone’s 0 has got to go in this fight.”

“We are both undefeated champions coming in and it’s going to make for an exciting fight.”

Volante won the vacant belt in late 2017 with an upset win over Brenda Carabajal in Argentina before defending it twice at home with stoppages over Panamanian Lourdes Borbua and Colombian Yolis Marrugo Franco.

Nevertheless, the 36-year-old is viewed as the more negotiable of the two remaining steps Taylor needs to take to become undisputed lightweight champion.

Should she beat Volante, Taylor will hopefully move into a clash with long-time WBC champion Delfine Persoon. The pound-for-pound-rated Belgian has held the green belt since 2014 and will make the ninth defence of her crown the week before Taylor-Volante when she takes on the dangerous Melissa St Vil.

Even without the undisputed tag, it is a far bigger fight than Volante and Taylor can admit this.

The 32-year-old outlined how “Delfine Persoon is a long reigning champion, the WBC champion and that’s a fight we have looked at for the last few months as well.”

“That is going to be a huge fight obviously I have to overcome Rose Volante first to get that fight, but that is probably one of the biggest fights in the game at the moment.”

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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 sport for a living for 19 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