Familiar foe Wahlström the perfect showcase for Katie Taylor following Serrano let-down


After disappointment last time out, Katie Taylor [11(5)-0] is looking forward to going up against another former top amateur.

The Wicklow lightweight defended her WBA and IBF belts back in October with an extremely one-sided win over Cindy Serrano in Boston and was left frustrated with her Puerto Rican opponent’s complete lack of ambition.

Taylor doesn’t think this will be a problem next weekend when she takes on Eva Wahlström [22(3)-0-1]at the Madison Square Garden Arena in New York.

The Finn is the reigning WBC champion at super featherweight and had been due to defend her belt in Russia this month but, with this fight falling through, she has jumped into a clash with Taylor on Saturday December 15th.

Like Taylor, although without the same level of success, Wahlström was a top amateur. The 38-year-old was a ten-time Finnish champion, a four-time Nordic champion, and a three-time European medallist (two silver, one bronze).

The pair met four times in the amateurs:

  • In 2004 at the Torneo Italia where a 17-year-old Taylor competed in her first international tournament and beat the established name 39-25.
  • In 2005 they met in the European Championships final in Norway where Taylor edged the contest 19-17 to win her first major medal.
  • At the 2006 World Championships in India Taylor won their preliminary round meeting via second round stoppage under the old ‘outclassed’ rule.
  • At the 2007 Men’s Elite Seniors, Taylor defeated the Finn 20-4 in a showcase bout.

A familiar foe, Taylor notes how “Eva is someone I know very well from our time in the amateurs.”

“I was actually drawn against her in my very first international competition back in 2004 and it seemed like every time I turned up to a major competition after that she was in the draw!”

“She was always a really tough opponent so it’s no surprise that she’s gone on to have a great professional career.”

A big fight, a testing fight, Taylor feels it is a contest worthy of the platform – playing out on the undercard of Canelo Alvarez v Rocky Fielding, the first DAZN ‘blockbuster’ show.

The 32-year-old Bray boxer outlined how “I think this fight will really showcase the best that women’s boxing has to offer and I’m really looking forward to it.”

““I’ve been lucky enough to fight in some iconic venues since turning pro two years ago but I’m not sure there’s any more iconic in a boxing sense than Madison Square Garden.”

“I think every fighter dreams about stepping in the ring there and I’m no different.”

“To get the opportunity to defend my World titles there is really very exciting.”

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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