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Dublin: 16 °C Wednesday 19 September, 2018
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'May the best fighter win': No weight trouble in London as Taylor and McCaskill gear up for war

Katie Taylor and Jessica McCaskill both comfortably made weight for their world title clash.

Image: James Crombie/INPHO

Gavan Casey reports from London

“SPEAKING OF KATIE Taylor, actually”, says the taxi driver en route to Dublin Airport this morning, “two nights ago I started at about half-past-12, and I was out by Vaughan’s in Terenure. D’you know Vaughan’s?”

I do.

“And I seen a fella leaning against a wall, head down – wearing a big jacket, so he was.

“And he comes over to the car and he says: ‘I’m American.’ And I’m like… ‘Right.’”

Right.

“Big, tall fella, so he was. About your height.”

Right.

“Bit leaner than yourself, now, mind you.”

Cheers!

“But he says to me: ‘I’m from Chicago, and I need to get to a place called Christchurch. I’ve got a flight to London in the morning. You know Katie Taylor?’

“And I told him I did, and he said he’s actually over to support your one…Cassidy or something, is it? He said she has a great chance against Taylor.”

Whoever the American gentleman in question was, he likely watched his hometown fighter Jessica McCaskill tip the scales at 132.6 pounds as she weighed in for her WBA World lightweight title scrap with Katie Taylor in London tomorrow night.

In even making the 135-pound limit, McCaskill has already gone one better than Argentina’s Anahi Sanchez, who lost the same title on the scales in Cardiff in October and was subsequently beaten soundly by the Bray woman in a nevertheless compelling contest at the Principality Stadium.

There was no such controversy on this occasion at the Courthouse Hotel in Shoreditch, however, with the champion also making weight: Taylor came in almost a pound under the limit at 134.1 to rapturous applause, not that she was overly concerned by the whole process.

“It really doesn’t affect me at all,” she told The42. “Regardless of what happens with these other girls’ weights, I’m still boxing and defending my world title. I’m still going in there hoping to produce a great performance.

This is absolutely huge, and a great way to end an incredible year for me as well as a pro. These are the kind of fights that I’ve always wanted – fights that are really going to elevate the sport and bring women’s boxing on.

“It’s going to be a tough fight, but it’s a fight that I want.”

While McCaskill and team have made significant noise to land the fight, the champion hasn’t engaged in much of the back-and-forths.

In any case, the talking is now over, and while Taylor stayed true to form in politely declining to predict the outcome at the iconic York Hall tomorrow, she did admit she was enthused by the prospect of a bit of peace and quiet over Christmas.

She also vowed to entertain in what will be the first women’s boxing match ever to headline a Sky Sports card.

My mindset going in is to try and make the fight as easy as possible for myself, really. I don’t mind making a fight boring if that’s what I have to do, to be honest. It’s all about the win.

“If the knockout comes, it comes, but you definitely don’t go in there pushing for it. It happens naturally.

“It’s definitely not going to be a boring fight. She’s a very exciting fighter, and she’s here to win as well.

“So may the best fighter win.”

The42 has just published its first book, Behind The Lines, a collection of some of the year’s best sports stories. Pick up your copy in Eason’s, or order it here today (€10):

‘If you watch an actual Katie fight, there are a lot of mistakes’: Taylor and McCaskill ready for battle

Taylor: ‘I’m really, really bad at trash-talking. She’ll win that, but it’s who wins in the ring that counts’

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