OPPONENT CONFIRMED – Katie Taylor fights mandatory in Leeds Stadium fight

Undisputed Lightweight ruler Katie Taylor [18(6)-0] defends her WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO and Ring Magazine crowns against Jennifer Han [18(1)-3(0)-1] in Leeds on September 4.

The clash with the American will act as co-main feature alongside Mauricio Lara and Josh Warrington‘s rematch at Emerald Headingley Stadium. 

The Irish star was forced to dig deep as she retained her World Titles via a unanimous decision victory after another memorable meeting with Natasha Jonas last time out at Manchester Arena in May – nine years on from their London 2012 Olympic Games bout.

A mandatory defence was touted before a return to big-time action in the aftermath of that Jonas classic – and rumour had French star Estelle Mossely in Taylor pole. However, Matchroom today confirmed the Bray native will return against American Han.

Han is a six-time national amateur champion who fights out of El Paso, Texas. She won the vacant IBF featherweight world title against Helen Joseph in September 2015 and went on to make four defences of her title – most recently against Lizbeth Crespo in February 2018.

The 30-year-old comes to the ring as mandatory for the IBF crown and has earned her shot at one of the biggest names in the sport. Han’s last fight came in a February 2020 El Paso hosted fight with Jeri Sitzes.

“I want to thank Katie for this opportunity,” said Han. “Enjoy your belts while you still have them. I will see you in September.”

The fight will be the first Taylor bout not to be broadcast on Sky Sports after Matchroom UK linked up with DAZN, which effectively means Irish fans can watch the bout for 2euro monthly conscription fee.

Speaking previously about DAZN’s views on Taylor promoter Eddie Hearn said:

“She is absolutely a top-top tier priority for our company in terms of making sure that she receives what she deserves because she is an absolute superstar and DAZN feels that way as well,” he adds before reflecting on a deal, that also has ramifications for Tommy McCarthy and James Tennyson, in more general term.

“The strategy for Matchroom Boxing is to be the absolute global powerhouse of boxing and the strategy for DAZN is to be the unrivalled home of global boxing.”

Interesting for Irish fans will be the meeting of two recent Irish defeaters further down the card.

James Tennyson defeater, Mexico’s Jovanni Straffon fights Jono Carroll and Paul Hyland scalper Maxi Hughes.


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