Hearn hopes to tempt MMA converts back to boxing to fight Katie Taylor


Katie Taylor [9(4)-0] will look target an eye-catching big name fight when she returns to America this September.

The 31-year-old hopes to claim her third lightweight title in London this Summer and is lining up a July fight with WBO titlist Rose Volante [13(7)-0].

However, the former amateur legend may put her undisputed drive on hold with a potential fight in America this Autumn.

The Bray favourite may be pitted against a known name in September in a glamourous fight before chasing Volante and WBC title holder Delfine Persoon [40(16)-1(1)].

Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn, who signed a $1billion eight-year deal to stage 128 shows on American soil with sports streaming service DAZN, seems to want a more high-profile fight for the first card under his new deal and is predicting a ‘big, big fight'” for the London 2012 Olympic gold medal winner.

On the shortlist of possible opponents are fighters who had to trade the boxing ring for the MMA cage in a bid to get notoriety and money.

Brooklyn featherweight Heather Harvey [21(4)-0] is a dual fighter, recently racking up a 2-1 MMA record. The Lou DiBella-promoted Irish-American, despite never being a world champion, is currently one of the biggest names in American female boxing.

Perhaps the most notable name Hearn has dropped in Holly Holm [33(9)-2(2)-3].

‘The Preacher’s Daughter’ Holm was linked to Taylor before and after London 2012, but despite a successful 11 year boxing career is now more noted for her UFC title win over now WWE star Ronda Rousey.

Holm was a unified welterweight champion in boxing before dropping down to light welter. Moving to MMA, she shocked Rousey to claim the UFC bantamweight (135lbs) crown and, after losing this title to Miesha Tate, was controversially defeated by Germaine de Randamie for the inaugural featherweight (145lbs) belt.

What looks to be the most realistic option put forward by Hearn is Puerto Rican Amanda Serrano [34(26)-2(0)-1], the only ever five-weight female world champion and another who has recently dipped a toe into MMA – fighting to a draw with Corina Herrera last month.

“Volante is a target for Katie’s next fight but if not her then it will be a big, big fight,” Hearn told Declan Taylor.

“We are also looking at the likes of Heather Hardy, Holly Holm, or Amanda Serrano. All of those would be tremendous opponents for Katie, who is only interested in big fights now.”

It’s an interesting move by the Matchroom boss. While Taylor’s short term goal is lightweight domination the promoter obviously wants to build some Stateside notoriety for the Wicklow woman and believes the likes of Holm, Hardy and Serrano may help.

All three mooted Taylor opponents have noted that their moves to MMA were due to the greater earning potential inside the octagon.

With the billion-dollar deal now done he should also have the funds to increase the standard and competitiveness of U.S. cards and potentially tempt any MMA defectors, both fans and potential Taylor opponents, back to boxing.

dpg

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