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Taylor set for serious step up against former amateur rival at Madison Square Garden next month

A full 13 years after they met in the European Championships final, Katie Taylor and Eva Wahlstrom will put it all on the line again.

Image: Emily Harney/INPHO

KATIE TAYLOR IS set to defend her IBF and WBA World lightweight titles against a familiar face at Madison Square Garden on 15 December.

The42 understands that, provided the final details are ironed out over the next day or two, the Bray woman [11-0, 5KOs] will square off with undefeated Finnish star Eva Wahlstrom [22-0-1, 3KOs], the WBC World super-featherweight champion, on the undercard of Canelo vs Rocky Fielding in New York.

Taylor, 32, beat Wahlstrom, 38, to win gold at the 2005 European Championships — the Irish icon’s first ever major medal. She bested her twice more in the amateurs, including in the last 16 en route to her first ever World Championship success in New Delhi in 2006.

Wahlstrom holds unanimous-decision victories over two of Taylor’s opponents, Karina Kopinska and Anahi Sanchez, the latter from whom Taylor ripped the WBA strap at the Millennium Stadium last autumn.

She saw off another prospective Taylor foe, ‘Little Miss Tyson’ Melissa St. Vil, in her last outing.

Eva-Banner-1024x536 Undefeated Eva Wahlstrom of Finland

The stylish Finn was scheduled to defend her WBC title versus Firuza Sharipova in St Petersburg over Christmas only for that fight to fall through, and so while the fight will be confirmed on only two weeks’ notice, Wahlstrom will have a full training camp under her belt should she square off with old amateur foe Taylor as is now expected.

She’ll also have five pounds of wiggle room as she moves from super-feather to lightweight to challenge for Taylor’s belts.

All going to plan over the next 24-48 hours, 15 December will mark Taylor’s Madison Square Garden debut and a significant step up in the calibre of her opposition.

The fight will be broadcast on Sky Sports in Ireland and the UK as well as DAZN in the United States.

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