A man that knows something about boxing in New York with a tricolour on your shorts believes Katie Taylor will capture the imagination of fight fans in the Big Apple this weekend.
The London 2012 Olympic Gold medal winner faces Jasmine Clarkson at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on the massive Mikey Garcia v Adrien Broner card this Saturday night.
It’s the first time the world renowned amateur fights in America as a pro and two-time European champion Matthew Macklin believes she will take step one along the way of winning over New York’s famous fight fans.
Macklin fought Sergio Martinez in the Big Apple on Paddy’s Day of 2012 and walked a fighter he manages, Mick Conlan into the same ring at Madison Square Garden Theatre on March 17th of this year.
Mack the Knife certainly knows a thing or two about the American boxing fans and their love of Irish fighters and he is predicting that one of Ireland’s greatest ever sports stars will also win the hearts of the American audience.
“Katie is unique. She will really capture the imagination and get great support in New York. And that is only the first first step,” he wrote for Sky Sports.
“It is hard to tell how big Katie Taylor will become on Saturday night but she will certainly make an impact. She is a household name in Ireland, the Irish in America will definitely know her and, although she hasn’t got the same profile, even more people will know about her in New York.”
“The Irish-Americans and the first generation Irish in America have always been big boxing fans. They get behind all their fighters and Katie will be no different. I don’t think there is a person in Ireland who doesn’t know who Katie Taylor is and a lot of that will transfer across to New York.”
New York has has shown love for the Irish throughout history. In recent years Conlan and Carl Frampton have topped bills in the city, ‘The Jackal’ winning a World title in the at the same venue where Taylor will strut her stuff, while Conlan debuted on the top of a Madison Square Garden bill.
Taylor might not fight in the Big Apple as regularly as the likes of John Duddy did, but she Macklin does believe she has a great chance to make a name for herself in the City That Never Sleeps.
“Any Irish fighter, never mind a good fighter, has gone down well in New York. Around 2005 John Duddy was the biggest draw on the East Coast and only Arturo Gatti, selling out the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, sold more tickets than him,” explained the MTK boss.
“When I fought Sergio Martinez at Madison Square Garden on St Patrick’s Day, that was sold out and Bob Arum said Michael Conlan’s debut was the biggest he’s ever seen.”
“There is support there and Katie Taylor is only going to get bigger on the back of her debut out there. She has a massive profile back home, winning the Olympic gold, being a multiple world champion and being on terrestrial TV”