In November, Kelly Harrington became World Amateur lightweight champion following a stunning win in India, a set of performances which have seen her catapulted right into the centre of Irish sporting life.
The Dubliner was engaged in plenty of media work throughout December and this threw up a logical but no less sensational proposition.
Katie Taylor v Kelly Harrington in the pros.
It’s a long way away, with the inner-city Dub being focused on the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020.
However, 28-year-old Harrington has admitted, first to Second Captains, and later to Joe.ie and the Irish Independent, that she is tentatively targeting a future fight with the Bray boxer who currently holds the WBA and IBF lightweight titles.
It’s a match-up with plenty of ‘ifs’ attached to it but one which has certainly gotten tongues wagging.
Encouragingly, rather than rule it out, Taylor’s manager, Brian Peters, assures that the Wicklow woman will not duck any fight and left the door open to a potential clash down the line.
Whether the Matchroom star, now 32, will still be boxing in, say, 2022, when a fight with Harrington becomes feasible remains to be seen. However, if she is, we could have a legendary fight in the making.
“I didn’t see [the Taylor v Harrington talk] but Kelly is great,” Brian Peters told Irish-Boxing.com when asked about the recent fantasy matchmaking.
“It’s hard to know, I suppose. Who knows what the future holds?”
“But, look, any fight, Katie has proven that she will fight anyone and doesn’t give a damn who they are,” added the Meath fight boss before lavishing praise on Harrington.
“What a win, it was fantastic!” said Peters
“I was speaking to Rob McCracken, he’s a good friend of mine, and he says that she’s great, the best in the world, a fantastic fighter.”
“Hopefully boxing in the Olympics stays, which I believe it will – there’s a few things going on.”
“What a great athlete and a good, tough Dub, you can’t beat them.”
For now, though, Peters is more focused on getting big fights for Taylor in 2019.
A unification with WBC champ Delfine Persoon seems a strong possibility for the summer but a mooted March fight date in Philadelphia has been dealt a blow by difficulties getting the last remaining major beltholder, WBO titlist Rose Volante, into the ring.
Peters has grown quite frustrated over the past year and reiterated his calls for other lightweight contenders to develop themselves into big names to enable big fights with Taylor.
The former manager of Bernard Dunne implored that “everyone needs to be doing their bit – we’re working hard. There’s a lot of work that it takes – they have to keep working.”
“It’s like a little kiddie’s picture, you have to join dots all over the place and then, one day, you see a full picture when all the dots are joined.”
One particular irritation for Peters is the lack of profile for the obviously talented Chantelle Cameron [8(5)-0].
The English fighter, managed by Monaghan’s Barry McGuigan, is seen by many as a potential major fight for Taylor but the match-up doesn’t balance yet for Peters.
He described how “the other young girl that McGuigan has – she’s just not active enough in building her profile. Chantelle Cameron, has she fought on TV? Spike TV, that’s not TV, she has to get real and get going and be on big shows and get profile.”
“It’s okay that McGuigan and his name carries a bit of shouting but that doesn’t…” he pauses, “you need rivals.”
Of course, building can have its pitfalls as could be seen by Natasha Jonas‘s shock knockout defeat to former Taylor foe Viviane Obenauf last summer.
A repeat of their epic Olympic quarter-final was a big plan for Peters who still grimaces at the memory.
“Natasha Jonas, that was a disaster that it didn’t happen – and I rang Joe [Gallagher, coach and manager] three months beforehand telling him to take it easy, well, I didn’t say that, I just said to take it easy.”
“We wanted that fight…”