Team Christina Linardatou [12(6)-1(0)] have accused Matchroom of doing a disappearing act after they made an unacceptable offer for the WBO light welterweight champion of the world to defend her title against Katie Taylor [14(6)-0] .
Rumours the Greek world title holder was next on the undisputed lightweight world champion’s hit list were substantiated when Eddie Hearn namedropped the 31-year-old as the most likely next foe.
The Matchroom boss confirmed they wanted the Bray fighter to become a two weight world champion in London in November – and considering former Taylor foes hold Jessica McCaskill and Victoria Bustos hold three of the light welterweight straps between them, he confirmed Linardatou as the ideal opponent.
The WBO champion’s coach Brian Cohen confirmed to Irish-Boxing.com contact has been made, but indicated he believes Hearn is as keen as he sounds.
Cohen stressed an offer was made over a month ago, but it wasn’t an offer anywhere near what he expects for the champion. He points out it was rebuffed and no contact was made since.
“We were made a let’s say economical offer – can you hear the sarcasm?- to fight Katie but that was over a month ago.
“Of course it’s a fight we are interested in but the numbers have to be proper.
“We were offered the same money for a fight with Katie that Christina makes in Greece. But trying to negotiate with Matchroom is like trying to work with the Loch Ness monster. You hear from them and then they magically disappear.”
There is no doubt Taylor’s arrival into the pro ranks has significantly raised female fight purses. Indeed, by all accounts some of her opponents are rumoured to have received over 50 times their highest ever payday by agreeing to fight the Irish star.
There hasn’t been a sense of fatigue from Matchroom with regard to potentially having to pay above the odds, but if as Cohen says the first offer undervalued the champion, Hearn might be trying to sell it as a massive chance for the ‘Medusa’ to change her life rather than just a one-off pay day.
Cohen admits the London 2012 Olympic gold medal winner and five-time World amateur champion is now the biggest fight in female professional boxing and suggests a win against such a name would be ‘monumental’ for his charge.
“Katie is the biggest fight out there. A win will propel Christina to superstar status overnight. She is the first world champion in Greece history so she is very well known there. But a win over Katie would be monumental.”
It’s clear the Greek fighter is the preferred target as Team Taylor set off on an Undisputed II mission before exploring mega fights with Amanda Serrano and Delfine Persoon – and now that Matchroom are putting together a November card, which may be topped by Billy Joe Saunders, the ‘Loch Ness Monster’ should reappear and negotiations should begin again soon.