Eddie Hearn doesn’t want to put any added pressure on Katie Taylor ahead of her November 26th pro debut, but claims the future of women’s boxing is at stake when she enters the ring for her two scheduled fights before Christmas.
Any fighter, even Olympic gold medal winners, are given almost a ten fight grace period when turning over, but the Matchroom boss claims the Irish sporting legend’s first two fights are make-or-break not just for the fighter herself – but the female fight game as a whole.
“Katie’s first two fights are so important and we have to make sure we get them right because the future of women’s professional boxing is on the line here,” said Hearn when speaking to the Irish Independent.
“I don’t want to put too much pressure on Katie because she is already under pressure to prove herself as a professional, but these first two fights before Christmas will be make-or-break.”
“Everyone in Ireland knows and loves Katie Taylor after her incredible achievements as an amateur, but the UK audience will not be so familiar with her and they will look in on November 26th and make their judgments.”
“If they see a mismatch or if they don’t enjoy watching women’s boxing, then they will not turn up again and the TV audiences will not be there.”
The English promoter acknowledged the backward views of some, but feels that Taylor has an opportunity to change misguided viewpoints. He described how “there are those who say women should not be in a boxing ring and some sexist idiots saying she should be left in the kitchen, but you will get that attitude from a few who do not see a place for women in professional boxing. Well, we have a chance to change some opinions in the next couple of months, but all of us involved here appreciate that we cannot get this wrong.”
Hearn, who has stated meeting with Taylor reconfirmed why he loved the sport of boxing more than the game as a business, admits some of the responsibility lies with him and his team. He will be aware the medal laden star blazed an amateur trail and is credited with getting women’s boxing into the Olympics and Hearn confident she can be as revolutionary in the pro game.
“We have a huge responsibility to make sure we put on a show because I am convinced that if we get this right, Katie can be a trailblazer for women’s professional boxing.”
The Matchroom boss may also be well served to look at Ireland’s previous in the World of women’s boxing. Our first ever female pro fighter Deirdre Gogarty’s clash with Christy Martin on the undercard of Tyson Fury v Frank Bruno is credited with announcing women’s boxing to the World.