future plans

Katie Taylor fight against Holly Holm 'a strong possibility' amid huge interest from American TV

Taylor’s manager Brian Peters also said her title fight next month may delay a homecoming bout until 2018.

MANAGER BRIAN PETERS has admitted that a world-title victory for Katie Taylor next month is likely to further delay a homecoming bout in Ireland.

Taylor will challenge Argentina’s Anahi Esther Sanchez for the WBA world female lightweight belt on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s world heavyweight title defence against Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev at Cardiff’s Millennium/Principality Stadium on October 28.

While promoter Eddie Hearn had previously suggested that Taylor’s first title tilt would take place in Dublin, her Cardiff fight date means a homecoming bout will definitively be delayed until next year as the Bray native’s team were keen to book a title tilt on Joshua’s undercard to increase her international profile.

“We’ve a few plans, but more than likely Katie will be out before Christmas in America. When she’ll fight in Ireland depends on how we get on with the next few fights,” explained manager Peters.

“I hate saying these things because plans change all the time, but within 18 months [from her debut last November] she will have fought in Ireland,” added the Meath man, appearing to hint that a spring or early summer date in Dublin may be most likely.

Growing interest from US broadcasters is likely to impact on plans following Taylor’s American debut last July, which resulted in a stoppage win over Texan journeywoman Jasmine Clarkson.

Katie Taylor and Jasmine Clarkson Emily Harney / INPHO Emily Harney / INPHO / INPHO

“Dublin will feature [in plans], but there’s huge interest from American TV companies and even the Holly Holm fight down the road is a strong possibility,” said Taylor’s manager on her likely schedule. “Katie wants to fight in Dublin at home, but she’s still building and she’s only a pro since November.

“We probably saw ourselves headlining in Ireland before taking on America big time. It’s probably kicked off in America a lot quicker than we expected and that’s probably why it will feature next.

“But first she’s got to win this next fight and win the title impressively,” stressed Peters, referring to the Sanchez bout. “Everyone is considering it a formality, but it’s a big fight and a huge opportunity for her opponent and it could carry a lot of pressure for Katie too.”

Taylor is currently training at the Connecticut base of coach Ross Enamait and is expected to return home briefly before travelling to Cardiff during fight week.

Sanchez carries a record of 17-2, having previously claimed world belts at featherweight and super-feather, with both of her losses coming in world-title contests. Notably those two defeats also marked the 26-year-old’s only fights outside of her homeland, each against ‘home’ European fighters.

The Buenos Aires native defeated compatriot Cecilia Sofia Mena in six rounds last Saturday night to claim the WBA title – one of four ‘major’ world belts – in a rescheduled bout held in San Miguel.

“I watched that fight live the other night,” explained Peters. “This is a challenge Katie will relish.

“We’ve had a difficulty getting opponents, but this is a very good fighter, a very experienced fighter and exactly what we’re looking for – a two-weight world champion – and we’re really looking forward to it.”

Taylor claimed the WBA inter-continental title and – more importantly – a world ranking with that governing body following her victory over Germany’s Nina Meinke last April, which helped force a fight with champion Sanchez just two days after the Argentine claimed the belt.

Katie Taylor and Jasmine Clarkson Emily Harney / INPHO Emily Harney / INPHO / INPHO

“We made offers to a few champions and I’m glad to say that the WBA installed Katie as their mandatory challenger, so within 60 days the champion had to fight Katie,” claimed Peters.

“The WBA was the first choice, but there were other titles and champions we made offers to that were declined.

“Needless to say we’re happy to get the world title and get this showcase for women’s boxing. It’s fantastic for the game,” added the manager, who has previously complained about the lack of willing opponents for Taylor.

“This would’ve been unheard of even three years ago – a woman fighting for a world title so high up on a big show on an Anthony Joshua card in front of 80,000 people,” said Peters.

“Some of these women… it’s fine being too smart and holding out for more money, but when you’re ‘three smart’ it can come back to bite you in the arse,” added the Meath man, who insisted Taylor will take on ‘all comers’ if she wins the title following St Louis native Jessica McCaskill’s recent calls for a fight.

Olympians such as England’s Natasha Jonas and American Mikaela Mayer have also turned professional in recent months, increasing the pool of talent competing at Taylor’s 135lb weight class.

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