James Crombie/INPHO

'Anyone who does even five minutes' research will see there are big fights out there for Katie'

Suggestions that women’s boxing lacks talent have left Brian Peters incredulous, but Katie Taylor’s manager has some choice words for a few of her prospective opponents.

BRIAN PETERS WANTS to clarify a few things.

As he tends to, Katie Taylor’s manager quietly perused the discourse which skirted the lightweight world champion’s third-round TKO of American veteran Kimberly Connor last Saturday. He remains incredulous.

Especially preposterous, he feels, were the sweeping dismissals provided by people who don’t really follow boxing, much less women’s boxing, but have nonetheless seemingly decided among themselves that Taylor’s professional career is basically pointless.

With Connor vanquished in London and Taylor’s next opponent, WBO World featherweight champion Cindy Serrano, signed and sealed for October, the Meath businessman has had the chance to take stock not only of Taylor’s first 10 fights in the punch-for-pay ranks, but roughly lay out the 15 or so he hopes will follow – versus Olympic rivals and Rio gold medalists; versus fellow world champions and multiple-weight world champions and bona fide knockout artists; versus the larger, heavier ‘First Lady of Boxing’; versus a UFC star.

And he wants to assess them all honestly. But for starters, he wants to talk about the scoffers.

“I’ve been reading in papers and hearing on the radio about the supposed lack of opposition out there for Katie but I think anyone who does even five minutes’ research can see there are plenty of big, big fights out there for Katie against some very accomplished opponents,” Peters tells The42.

I’ve heard guys over the last week or 10 days talking about women’s boxing and how the whole thing is silly – it’s all a big joke, supposedly; Katie could earn twice these guys’ salaries in five minutes’ work, so it’s a pretty funny joke, all right! A bit more of that same joke and we’ll certainly be laughing.

“The lads on radio or in papers writing off the women’s sport and claiming there’s nobody out there to fight Katie – how many fights have these guys bothered going to? Have they even bothered their flute to do a Google search? Why are they talking about boxing as if they’re authorities on it when it’s clear they have no interest in it or knowledge about it?

“If they were there last Saturday night, or if they even bothered to buy the pay-per-view, they might understand it a little bit more; they might realise that there is something quite unique about this journey that Katie is on, and it’s only going to get better; that there are loads of big, big fights that can be made and will be made.

“Maybe some of them will never understand that. I dunno… Maybe it doesn’t even matter if they don’t.”

Katie Taylor finishes Kimberly Connor Katie Taylor finishes mandatory challenger Kimberly Connor in London last Saturday Gary Carr / INPHO Gary Carr / INPHO / INPHO

There can be no disputing that Kimberly Connor, though a warrior in her own right, didn’t belong in a professional ring with Katie Taylor.

You got the impression even Connor knew as much when, in a rather moving post-fight moment in the champion’s dressing room, the Texan told Taylor: “You’re living my dream, you know. And I’m really proud of you.”

Last March, the 37-year-old Texan lost to Victoria Bustos from whom Taylor would almost frolicsomely rip the IBF world title 13 months later. She had fought only five times in the last six years, and the first of those five fights – versus the 11-10-2 Nicole Woods – was her last victory over an opponent with a winning record.

Those are undisputed facts. But it’s due to the fact that Katie Taylor wants to the undisputed champion that the fight took place at all.

“With all due respect to Kimberly who came into the fight in great condition, was very courageous, and really gave it her all”, says Peters, “she isn’t someone that would have been on our radar in terms of a big fight.

She was our mandatory challenger with the IBF, so we had to either fight her or give up the belt. And Katie certainly wasn’t going to give up the belt. Katie wants to unify the lightweight division as quickly as possible – she needs all the belts. It’s as simple as that.

However, WBA and IBF champion Taylor’s pursuit of the complete collection, Peters admits, is proving less simple.

“The WBC champion, Delfine Persoon, seems intent on defending that belt in low-key fights in Belgium, and the WBO champ, Rose Volante, is hiding out in Brazil,” he says.

We’ve had some talks with Persoon but they haven’t gone very far, to be honest. We offered her the fight back in April and also tried to make it for later this year but she seems content to defend her WBC belt in Belgium for the moment.

“We’ll keep trying to make the fight and hopefully we can get it done for next year, but you reach a point where you have to look at the bigger picture, and I’m not going to have Katie’s career put on hold just to chase belts when there are plenty of other big – and potentially bigger – fights out there.

“And Volante is in pretty much the same situation as Persoon in that she has a belt but is vastly overvaluing her worth. She says she wants to make a few defences in Brazil and, look, fair enough: she wants to bring a bit more to the table as an established champion if she ever does step up to the challenge. But she’s already turned down a huge purse to fight Katie, and who knows if it’ll come around again?

“I’m not going to hold up Katie’s career just to wait around on Persoon and Volante.”

“Look, a lot of these women – by no means all of them, but a lot of them – are just trying to milk it before they get beaten by Katie, and that’s the truth of it,” Peters continues.

“Obviously, it’s never going to be Katie’s style to call out anyone out or start trash-talking any opponents. Katie pays absolutely no attention to all the nonsense that goes on outside the ring – that old cliche of ‘doing your talking in the ring’ could have been invented for her – so it’s up to myself and Eddie Hearn to draw these opponents out.

And I think I ruffled a few feathers recently talking about some of these opponents [on Sky Sports' Toe2Toe podcast]. But the point I was making was that these fighters, and their managers or promoters, need to play their part in building their own profiles, fighting regularly and getting themselves on TV for them to warrant the kind of paydays they are looking for to fight Katie.

“Eddie has done a fantastic job of promoting Katie right from her debut – and of course a rising tide lifts all boats – but it’s not up to Eddie to raise the profile of all her prospective opponents as well. They need to take responsibility for that themselves.

“Take Jessica McCaskill last year: she talked her way into a fight with Katie, got beat, and got a payday she could only have dreamt about previously. Jessica is a fantastic character – she brought a lot to the table in terms of building the fight and sure enough, it was the first ever women’s fight to headline on Sky Sports. Jessica did a great job of making that fight happen, and she earned a lot of money.

“Now, eight months on, she hasn’t fought since or capitalised on the profile she got out of that fight, but at least McCaskill stepped up to the mark!”

Incidentally, the entertaining ‘CasKILLA’ of Chicago, who to date has given Taylor the toughest night of her 10-fight pro career (this writer scored it 96-93 to Taylor from ringside at York Hall; the judges 97-92, 97-92 and 98-91) is slated to make her ring return on 6 October.

“I’ve heard other fighters such as Melissa St. Vil say publicly on numerous occasions that they would love a fight with Katie”, adds Peters, “but the fight has been offered to her on four separate occasions in the last year, and each and every time she has flat-out turned the fight down despite being offered substantially more money than she has ever made for any other fight in her career.

Jessica McCaskill Jessica McCaskill James Crombie / INPHO James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

As tends to be the case in boxing, some of the prestigious fights that lie on Taylor’s horizon are going to be difficult to compose. As also tends to be the case, others aren’t.

In October, be it on the 6th in Chicago or the 20th in Boston – the latter looking more likely as of now – she’ll get the ball rolling towards one of the latter variety, but she’ll surely take a few bumps en route.

It became inevitable when Taylor set foot in Brooklyn: a bout versus Amanda Serrano is one of the biggest in women’s professional boxing, and the Puerto Rican Brooklynite – the only fighter from her homeland ever to have held a world title in five different weight classes – is hellbent on putting an end to the Bray woman’s march to Stateside stardom.

The road to Amanda, however, goes through her elder sister Cindy, a world champion at featherweight who will climb two divisions to challenge for Taylor’s lightweight straps in two months’ time. The short-haired Serrano is scarcely small by comparison, however; she has previously held her own north of the 147-pound limit (Taylor has never tipped the scales heavier than 134.5 lbs).

diuv2thxcaefrap-310x415 Cindy Serrano and Katie Taylor

“We have to deal with Cindy first in October and we’re very aware that Cindy is an excellent fighter in her own right,” says Peters. “She’s gone up and down the weights like Amanda and, if you take a quick look at her record, she’s been in with the very best during her career and will be coming into the fight as a world champion herself.

“She’s fought as high as welterweight when she went the distance with Anne Sophie Mathis in a world title fight. In her very next fight, Mathis scored a brutal knockout over Holly Holm, so make no mistake about it, Cindy is a fighter with a terrific pedigree. It’s a fight we’re certainly not overlooking.

“Funnily enough”, he says, “any time Amanda talks or tweets about the fight she seems to be almost dismissing Cindy’s chances and suggesting that we picked the easier fight of the two. Maybe she’s upset that Cindy got the shot and the big payday first.

“Of course, once Katie has dealt with Cindy, Amanda will be very much in our sights.”

The younger Serrano, boasting a record of 34-1-1 with 26 of her victories quick, is a women’s pound-for-pound contender by any metric, and her burgeoning rivalry with Taylor dictates that they’ll have to step to it before long.

It will most likely be the first Taylor fight that, should she win, could partially define her career in the pro ranks, but should she lose, will almost certainly define it.

If it’s done properly, it will be the first female prizefight to truly transcend on a transatlantic level since Christy Martin’s 1996 pay-per-view fight with Drogheda’s Deirdre Gogarty in 1996 (somewhat fittingly, Taylor won her Olympic gold medal a day after ‘Dangerous’ Deirdre’s book, My Call to the Ring: A Memoir of a Girl Who Yearns to Box, was published in 2012).

Throw into the mixer a sprinkling of social media – the optimal and predominant vehicle for fight promotion – and the ceiling for Taylor-Serrano strikes as loftier still.

Boxing 2017 - Amanda Serrano Beats Yazmin Rivas by Unanimous Decision Amanda Serrano (R) Joel Plummer Joel Plummer

But while Serrano has begun to lob a couple of grenades on Twitter, and is doubtless capable of detonating bombs in the squared circle, Taylor’s manager is of the belief that the ‘The Real Deal’ could still be doing more to seal a deal which has the potential to elevate her career tenfold: his message, which is sure to go down like a led balloon in Brooklyn, is light the touchpaper in order to make some paper.

“I know she might have been annoyed by some of the things I said on that [Toe2Toe] podcast – I had no idea what a podcast was, by the way – so I need to state this firstly: Amanda Serrano is a great fighter,” says Peters earnestly. “A super fighter! I have huge time for her as a fighter.

“She’s a big puncher, she’s experienced, she’s younger. Her and Katie is a 50-50 fight – I guarantee it. I rate her extremely highly – as a fighter. I just think her profile is severely lacking.

“She has to do her bit to make this fight into the superfight that it can be – because it’s not 50:50 outside of the ring: there is a clear A-side, and that’s Katie.

Most of Katie’s opponents to date have been paid more for fighting Katie than in the rest of their careers combined, and in some cases they have made multiple times their total career earnings for fighting Katie. You’ve kind of got to ask yourself… ‘Why?’

“Amanda Serrano will get six or eight times more than she’s ever earned for another fight if she fights Katie; why is that?

“Katie now earns way, way over 10 times more – it’s closer to 15 times more – than Amanda’s career-highest purse to date; why is that?

Now, I won’t talk numbers: I always feel that’s a bit of a sly dig to reveal the actual purse, because that’s somebody’s personal information; that’s their business. But it’s important to put this into some sort of context: Cindy Serrano and Amanda Serrano will each earn more for respective fights with Katie than they have in all of their other fights put together. I mean, they should buy a house afterwards and call it ‘KT House’.

“But in all seriousness, Amanda certainly likes to talk and tell everyone how great she is and how hard she hits. She goes on about how she’s a five-weight world champion and she’s this and that, but how many of those titles were vacant when she won them?

The answer, as Peters points out, is four: Serrano won vacant WBO world titles at bantamweight (2017), super-bantamweight (2016) and featherweight (2016), and beat Kimberly Connor for the vacant IBF super-featherweight world title in 2011; she knocked out champion Maria Elena Maderna to win the WBO World lightweight title in 2014.

“The majority of her title wins have been vacant WBO titles where, let’s face it, because the WBO don’t bother to publish women’s ratings, it means that she basically hand-picked easy opponents for those fights,” Peters adds. “Only once has she actually beaten a defending champion (Maderna), and even in that instance she wasn’t much of a champion having only won 13 of her 24 fights to that point.”

original (10) Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano

“And why has she not really been on TV?” he continues.

Now, I know it has been difficult for women’s professional boxing to get on TV – I can’t pretend it hasn’t been – and you can blame whoever you want for that. But at the same time, for someone as good as Serrano, why has it been so difficult? How is Katie doing it?

“How is Claressa Shields doing it? She’s fighting on Showtime – an amazing fighter with the world at her feet. I’m not trying to make it out that it’s all about Katie in women’s boxing, because Claressa Shields is elevating the entire sport just like Katie is. What a fighter.”

The commonality between Shields and Taylor is that they’ve both won Olympic gold medals – twice in the 23-year-old American super-middleweight’s case.

Peters, though, suggests that Olympic pedigree alone would not dictate that Taylor walk from the unpaid ranks into televised fights in an era where women’s pro boxing has until now languished in the offscreen abyss for the most part.

“She won Olympic gold for Ireland six years ago; what does mean, really, to Americans or people in the UK, even?” he says. “Because that’s where she’s been fighting on the telly, ultimately. Plus, there are loads of Olympic gold medalists – men and women – who aren’t fighting on TV.

“Katie has been fighting on TV constantly, straight out of the amateurs, because she worked relentlessly over many, many years to build a profile and build herself into a star – this was of her own accord, with no promoter. And she continues to do it: the amount of press obligations she has during fight week is absolutely unbelievable, but she does it; she works hard at it.

“Amanda was tweeting about how she stopped Kimberly Connor ‘in her prime’ six or seven years ago, which I thought was a bit disrespectful to Kimberly, to be honest.

But I’d just like to ask Amanda if there’s any way we can watch her fight with Kimberly, because I can’t find footage of it anywhere; I don’t think the fight was archived anywhere. I’m not sure there was a single camera rolling when that fight took place. It’s a bit like the old story: if a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it does it still make a noise?

“It’s certainly very hard for any fighter to start demanding big paydays when they have had precious little television exposure, and again, that applies to anyone looking for big money to fight Katie.”

“Why doesn’t Amanda Serrano fight someone like Jessica McCaskill who Katie beat, and try to make a statement?” he adds. “That would be a decent fight for TV and if she stopped someone as tough as McCaskill after Jessica gave Katie a hard fight over 10 rounds, that would really get people talking.

“Why has she never fought Heather Hardy – her fellow Brooklynite? That’d be a big, big fight in Brooklyn – that’s the type of fight to make and really gain some prominence. But for whatever reason that fight hasn’t happened.

“We just want the fight to be as big as it can possibly be.

And look, she has started talking a little bit: I saw she said [in an interview with] that she’s gonna knock Katie out and all that… Beautiful! Listen, she’s entitled to her opinion. We don’t get all touchy and super-sensitive about it; we didn’t retort, or I didn’t start getting all cranky. It’s no problem – she’s entitled to think that.

“Don’t get me wrong, and I’ll stress it again: Amanda is a damn good fighter. Her and Katie will be another huge fight in New York.

“But she’s never shared the ring with anyone like Katie. The problem is she’ll have to actually back up her talk when she gets in the ring with Katie.

“And by the way, her team and her promoter need to be doing more as well. And I think that applies to all of these women – it’s not solely on them to make the fight. Their managers and promoters need to do their jobs properly and start trying to make something happen so we can make these big fights.”

Brian Peters Brian Peters watches on as Taylor defends her WBA belt v Jessica McCaskill in London James Crombie / INPHO James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

Like Serrano, one of those managers – that of the aforementioned Hardy – was not best pleased by his Irish counterpart’s recent call to action during Peters’ brief chat with Sky Sports’ Toe2Toe podcast.

The Meath man is keen to reiterate his long-held admiration for ‘The Heat’, who spoke with The42 back in May about her tumultuous life and storied career as well as the prospect of a fight with Taylor – one of the few which would lure her back from Bellator MMA to the boxing ring.

“It’s important that I’m clear about this: Heather Hardy is an amazing character, a fantastic person. She’s come through some unbelievably difficult times in her life – she’s had a tough, tough life – to really make a name for herself both in boxing and MMA.

“And not only is she tough outside of the ring, but she is seriously tough inside it. What a story this woman has. You don’t get four or five pages written about you like that in Rolling Stone magazine if you’re not a person of serious magnitude, and that’s what she is.

“She’s done an awful lot for women’s boxing, and she’s a great role model for any young girl who wants to take up the sport – or any sport.

“We’d love to fight Heather and there has been some talks already about that.

“She’s a really tough competitor, unbeaten in 22 fights in her pro career, so it would be a good challenge for Katie. Obviously, coming from an Irish background in New York, it’s a natural fight there, and Heather has said she’s keen on it as well – so let’s go!”

After a mooted September date fell by the wayside, both sides are hopeful that Taylor and Hardy can meet in the latter’s home borough in December in what would be a ready-made high-profile clash in large part due to Hardy’s sizeable following in both cage and ring.

Another massive American showdown lingers one degree of separation away: six-fight undefeated prospect Mikaela Mayer, who eliminated Hardy from Olympic qualifying ahead of London 2012 and represented America under Billy Walsh’s tutelage at Rio 2016, is a live option, but perhaps one for further down the line.

Peters describes it as “inevitable that herself and Katie will cross paths at some point,” but hopes to see Mayer extend herself beyond the six-round distance “before Katie is 40 years old,” adding that the Top Rank super-talent “is an Olympian, for God’s sake!”

Their prospective showdown in 2019 or beyond has already captured the imagination of one Claressa Shields.

Closer to home, then, there are potential bill-toppers – and one in particular which has been brewing for over six years, long before either woman ditched the headguard and started cashing cheques for their efforts.

“Katie’s fight with Natasha Jonas was pretty much the fight of the 2012 Olympics: it was the first day of women’s boxing in the Games and the quality of the fight, combined with the atmosphere, made it an unforgettable one.

People still talk about it and it’s only natural that people would want to see it again in the pros. Natasha’s made a good start to her pro career and as long as she keeps winning I’d hope we can get that fight made for early next year.

Jonas is currently pursuing titles a division below, but her trainer Joe Gallagher told Sky Sports earlier this week that Jonas intends to move up and challenge her Matchroom stablemate Taylor early in 2019 should she succeed in becoming a world champion at 130 pounds.

In a precarious division it’s a significant ‘if’, but if Jonas can levitate to lightweight unscathed, a second ever women’s fight to headline a Sky Sports-televised card will surely follow.

London Olympic Games - Day 10 Katie Taylor defeats Natasha Jonas at London 2012 Nick Potts Nick Potts

Another Briton, Chantelle Cameron, is managed by Barry McGuigan and trained by his son, Shane. She responded to Taylor’s victory over Kimberly Connor last Saturday night by tweeting, “I’ll be ready.”

The 27-year-old picked up an IBO trinket in her sixth pro fight, which you could frankly take or leave – and most leave – but a fight prior seriously impressed in forcing former Taylor opponent Viviane Obenauf to call it a night on her stool after six rounds.

Taylor, too, beat Obenauf over six rounds in what was the Irishwoman’s second professional contest, but she did so on points, and so ‘Wham Bam Chan’ could rightly feel she made a bit of a statement in Leicester last December.

The former British amateur talent hasn’t really set the world alight since, though, registering two low-key victories in Glasgow over opponents that sported a combined record of 23-18-6.

Peters is of the belief that ‘Wham Bam Chan’ is far from ready to trade leather with his charge, but more so from a business perspective than with regards to her undoubted talent.

He acknowledges that there remains potential for a sizeable future showdown should she gain any sort of prominence, and was especially impressed by the manner in which Cameron beat Obenauf into submission.

“Chantelle is a very good fighter and seems to have taken to the pros well,” he says.

“It’s a shame her career has been pretty low-profile to date. Barry McGuigan seems to be using Katie’s name a lot to try and get some coverage for her.

He’s gone from waxing lyrical about Katie and shedding tears at her winning gold at the Olympics to now writing her off. It’s almost like he’s swapped Katie’s name in the script he was working off with Chantelle’s. I think most people see through that.

“I definitely think it’s a potential rivalry that can be built up into a big fight but as good as she is, Chantelle needs to start getting some decent television exposure for herself.

“I mean, I’ve come across a few clips on YouTube but in terms of television I’m not even sure what fights of hers have had coverage or on what channels.

Let’s be honest, at the moment she doesn’t really have any profile and it’s Barry’s job as her promoter or manager, whatever he is, to change that. I think they have a good bit to go before that fight is as big as it should be. Hopefully, she can pick up a proper title of her own which would be a big step in the right direction.

“Now, in fairness,” says Peters, “they had the right idea by fighting Viviane Obenauf, and Chantelle stopped her, which Katie didn’t when she fought Obenauf. That was nothing to be sniffed at, now, I must say. She deserves credit for that – a fine win.

She’s still riding on Katie’s coattails by even having that fight in the first place, but that’s fine.

“If she keeps winning like that and builds some momentum and profile there’s no doubt we can make that fight.”

Barry McGuigan looks on as Carl Frampton trains Cameron is managed by 'The Clones Cyclone', Barry McGuigan Presseye / William Cherry/INPHO Presseye / William Cherry/INPHO / William Cherry/INPHO

The overall aim is for Taylor to become the undisputed boxing queen – the First Lady of a sport that, when she does one day hang up her gloves, seems destined to look a lot more prosperous and prominent than it was when she first climbed into the professional ring.

But both of those mantles currently belong to an all-time pro boxing great, the 34-fight undefeated Norwegian welterweight Cecilia Brækhus, who until Oleksandr Usyk won the World Boxing Super Series last month was the only undisputed world champion in the sport.

The 36-year-old was asked about a prospective fight with Taylor by HBO’s Max Kellerman back in May after she survived a first career knockdown to defend her titles in the first ever women’s bout to be broadcast on the Home Box Office, but she remains as coy about it now as she was then.

A fully-fledged 147-pounder, the Colombian-born ‘First Lady’ seems reticent to meet Taylor at the halfway mark of 140, but in 2014 had three consecutive fights between 140.75 and 142.75.

Were it ever to take place, their bout would be an all-timer, and though Peters is quick to pay the Scandinavian her dues – “She’s a great ambassador for women’s boxing and undoubtedly has been the flag bearer for women’s pro boxing over the last decade,” he says – he believes Taylor would inflict upon her the first defeat of an illustrious 11-and-a-half-year career.

“I saw Cecilia quoted recently as saying that Katie was too small to fight her,” he says. “Katie appreciates her concern but doesn’t quite agree!

It’s not all that long since Cecilia made 140 pounds so Katie would definitely be willing to go up to light-welterweight for a fight of that magnitude.

“Even with Katie giving away a lot of natural size, I believe her speed, skillset and boxing IQ means she would be too much for Cecilia.”

Imago 20171018 'The First Lady' Cecilia Braekhus Imago / PA Images Imago / PA Images / PA Images

“Holly Holm is another one that crops up a lot,” Peters continues. “Obviously, Holly had a fantastic boxing career prior to switching over to MMA where she has enjoyed great success as well. She was a three-weight world champion boxer.

I had talks with Holly’s manager about fighting Katie as far back as 2012 just after the London Olympics, and we’ve had conversations since. Although Holly has been focused on MMA, I believe if the money was right then that’s a fight that can still happen at some point.

He earmarks several other candidates, too: Estelle Mossely, who succeeded Taylor as Olympic champion at lightweight and recently made her professional debut; Erica Farias, the WBC light-welterweight champion; the four super-featherweight world champions – Eva Wahlstrom, Maiva Hamadouche, Hyun Mi Choi and Ewa Brodnicka; unified featherweight world champion Jelena Mrdjenovich, who’s making big bucks in Canada; Layla McCarter, a bona fide women’s boxing legend (the 10th-greatest ever, per Ring Magazine); the Roy Jones-trained Ikram Kerwat; former amateur rival Gulsum Tatar.

(SP)SINGAPORE-UFC FIGHT NIGHT Peters says he's had conversations with UFC star Holly Holm's manager Xinhua News Agency / PA Images Xinhua News Agency / PA Images / PA Images

“There are loads out there”, he says, “but Katie really doesn’t care who she fights – she just wants the biggest challenges possible. That’s what motivates her and gives her that remarkable drive.

It’s a privilege to work with such an ‘ordinary’ person who is capable of the most extraordinary things. She’s a very intelligent and thoughtful person. I think whatever Katie decided to do in life she would have been one of the best in the world at. It just so happens she picked boxing.

Katie Taylor receives her WBA and IBF belts Gary Carr / INPHO Gary Carr / INPHO / INPHO

“No, she’s never going to be calling fighters out like this, but then she’s also very funny. I think people often don’t get to see that side of her because of the laser focus she has on simply being the best.

“I think the feature documentary that’s coming out on her later this year (Katie, directed by Ross Whitaker) will give people an insight into that, and also the journey she has gone on since turning pro after such a turbulent time in her life at the end of her amateur career.”

With a world title strewn over each shoulder and her first mandatory defence in the books, that journey is only now beginning in earnest.

Whenever the end credits do roll, one expects many of the aforementioned names will have played key roles in the bigger picture.

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Taylor: ‘Serrano was the one to beat, but she has to step up and take the fight: Ireland against Puerto Rico!’

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