New mandatory challenger calls out Katie Taylor following KO win


As we patiently await details of Katie Taylor’s next fight, the undisputed lightweight champion of the world has received a call-out.

Unbeaten Spaniard Miriam Gutierrez [12(5)-0] has let it be known that she wants to take on Taylor for all the belts having recently secured the WBA mandatory slot.

In a series of posts to social media, the 36-year-old has said “what am I looking for? The world! Katie Taylor!”

“Thank you to everyone for their support – one more step!”

Turning pro in 2017, Gutierrez has fought exclusively in her homeland but has stepped up her level of opposition this year. In March she outpointed England’s SJ Smith to win the vacant European title and followed this up, last Friday, with a second-round knockout win over Hungarian Bianka Majlath to claim the vacant WBA ‘gold’ trinket – a belt that, in theory, provides the winner with mandatory status.

With women’s boxing still developing, the system for world title fights and defences is not as established as men’s.

Across Taylor’s seven world title defences; three have also been unifications, three have been voluntaries, and one has been a mandatory. This single mandatory, also from the WBA, came last July when the Wicklow puncher destroyed overmatched American first-in-line Kimberley Connor.

The WBC’s #1-ranked fighter is Delfine Persoon – more on that shortly – with Chantelle Cameron facing Anisha Basheel in a final eliminator next week, while Gutierrez is also #1 with the IBF. The WBO, disappointingly, do not have a rankings system.

Taylor [14(6)-0] is currently at home in Ireland away from her training base in Connecticut enjoying the tail-end of a break following her undisputed title win over Persoon last month.

The majority-decision verdict split opinion and there have been calls for a rematch. However, Taylor’s manager, Brian Peters, has stated that the repeat of the pair’s epic and disputed Madison Square Garden Arena clash will NOT be next.

The plan at the start of 2019 was for Taylor to ascend to undisputed status before facing controversial Puerto Rican Amanda Serrano in a bill-topper at the Madison Square Garden Theater.

However, with Serrano yet to have the second of her three fights agreed with streaming platorm DAZN – the third of which was slated to be a showdown with Taylor – this bout also looks to be put back to 2020.

Lou DiBella, who co-promotes Serrano, has recently been suggesting another of his fighters, WBO featherweight champion Heather Hardy, as the next Taylor foe but the popular Irish-American’s weight and skill disadvantages may not be conducive to an in any way competitive fight.

Whether or not Gutierrez would fare any better is debatable but he Spaniard has the positioning and the willingness which puts her in the frame as the opponent for

Regardless of the opposition, the Bray boxer’s next move looks unsure. Another prominent support slot on the Andy Ruiz v Anthony Joshua rematch undercard had been mooted but headlining in her own right or featuring on another show remains possible.

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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: [email protected]