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'If you watch an actual Katie fight, there are a lot of mistakes': Taylor defends title this Wednesday

Katie Taylor defends her WBA World lightweight title in London on Wednesday.

Updated Dec 11th 2017, 3:10 PM

JESSICA MCCASKILL BELIEVES she can expose weaknesses in Katie Taylor’s game when she challenges for the Irishwoman’s WBA World lightweight title belt on Wednesday, and suggests the public pay too much heed to 2012 Olympic gold medallist’s highlight reel.

The 33-year-old Windy City resident, an investment bank consultant by trade, sports a record of 5-1(3KOs) and is currently ranked as the fourth-best lightweight in the world on BoxRec.

On Wednesday night in London’s York Hall, however, McCaskill – who along with manager-trainer Rick Ramos has called for a showdown with Taylor for the past six months – intends to shock the boxing world and become top dog at 135 pounds.

“Thank you to Team Taylor and to Eddie [Hearn] and to Matchroom for making this fight,” the hard-hitting American said at today’s final press conference in London.

“We’ve had a great camp, we’re ready to get going. We’ve been taken very well care of since we’ve been here, so I very much appreciate that.

“We’re just anxious for Wednesday.

I think there are a lot of opportunities in this fight. A lot of what you see from Katie Taylor is highlights – the good things. But if you watch an actual [Taylor] fight, there are a lot of mistakes, a lot of opportunities. I plan on taking advantage of that.

Taylor stayed true to her word in a recent interview with The42 by not returning verbal fire, focusing instead on what the fight means to professional women’s boxing – something McCaskill herself alluded to in her own recent interview with the same publication.

The goal for Taylor is to unify her division next year, but the 31-year-old Bray woman isn’t overlooking a potential speed-bump in the Chicago puncher this Wednesday.

“It’s been an incredible year so far”, Taylor said, “and this sort of sets me up nicely to end the year on a high, really. I can’t wait to get going on Wednesday evening.

“I’ve always made it known I want to be involved in the biggest fights possible, and the best fights possible, and the biggest challenges. I’m looking forward to that challenge on Wednesday evening.

Jessica is a great fighter. I want people to see the best of women’s boxing, and this is the fight that I want.

“I’m not looking past Wednesday evening but the dream is to unify the division eventually, and this sets me up nicely for a big year next year.”

McCaskill’s manager and trainer, Rick Ramos, who kicked off his team’s campaign for a Taylor scrap in earnest back in July by suggesting the Irish icon had ‘disrespected women’s boxing’, acknowledged Taylor for taking the fight – which takes place just six weeks after Taylor became world champion in Cardiff.

Ramos suggested McCaskill would be, by a considerable margin, Taylor’s best opponent as a pro to date, and warned the world champion that she’ll come under serious fire on Bethnall Green in two nights’ time.

“Katie made this fight happen. I know we had to get under Katie’s skin to make this.

Jessica is a fighter. There’s a difference between being a born fighter and a ‘taught’ fighter. With all due respect to Katie, I think she’s a ‘taught’ fighter. Jessica is a born fighter.

“Obviously Katie’s got a tremendous background. I understand that: I watched her before she was pro.

I think Jessica will test her chin, test her will, and put her under pressure. Jessica would have beaten all of Katie’s opponents – including [Anahi] Sanchez.

Asked what he made of McCaskill as a fighter, Taylor’s own trainer, Ross Enamait, took aim at the American’s background in the sport; McCaskill first laced up gloves as a trainee kickboxer in 2008 predominantly as a means of keeping fit.

As such, Enamait didn’t take Ramos’ ‘born fighter’ assertion too seriously.

She [McCaskill] is strong, she’s tough, but I mean, as far as being a born fighter, Katie didn’t find boxing by accident because she was trying to get in shape. She’s been boxing since she was a kid, so she’s a born fighter, and they’ll find out in the ring.

“She’s 100% ready, she’s had a great camp. She’s fired up as she is for every fight. It’s business as usual.”

Taylor-McCaskill and its accompanying undercard will be broadcast live on Sky Sports from 6pm this Wednesday.

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):

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

‘Tell Katie to heal up so we can get to it’: McCaskill hellbent on shocking Taylor in December

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