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If the Bray woman emerges victorious in March, she'll become the first Irish fighter to hold three major belts in the same division.
If the Bray woman emerges victorious in March, she'll become the first Irish fighter to hold three major belts in the same division.
Image: Tom Hogan/INPHO

It's on: Taylor seals world-title unification clash as Volante signs on the dotted line

WBA and IBF World lightweight champ Katie Taylor will attempt to relieve Rose Volante of her WBO strap in Philadelphia on Patrick’s weekend.
Jan 11th 2019, 6:26 PM 25,438 23

KATIE TAYLOR WILL face Brazil’s Rose Volante in a world-title unification clash on Patrick’s weekend in Philadelphia.

Taylor will seek to add Volante’s WBO title to her WBA and IBF straps in her bid to become the undisputed lightweight world champion in 2019.

The Bray woman’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, confirmed this evening that contracts had been signed for the long-awaited clash, which was thrown into doubt when Volante’s team initially turned down an offer worth almost 15 times more than the 36-year-old’s career-highest purse to date.

It’s understood that 16 March is the likely date for the showdown between the two undefeated champions, which will be broadcast live on Sky Sports in Ireland and the UK as well as DAZN in the States.

Taylor [12-0, 5KOs] produced a career-best performance in a scintillating shutout win over former amateur rival Eva Wahlstrom at Madison Square Garden in December, while Volante [14-0, 8KOs] took just three rounds to dispose of Colombian veteran Yolis Marrugo Franco in Praia Grande three months prior.

The Sao Paulo native has fought just once outside of her homeland, in neighbouring Argentina, while March’s unification clash will make for Taylor’s sixth outing on American soil.

The 32-year-old Irish icon is due to be joined by a host of compatriots on Eddie Hearn and Matchroom’s Patrick’s weekend bill: as previously confirmed by The42, former Irish team-mate and fellow 2012 Olympic medalist John Joe Nevin [11-0, 4KOs] is in line for a step-up bout on the night, colourful Dub Jono Carroll [16-0-1, 3KOs] is set to face Matchroom stablemate Tevin Farmer [28-4-1, 6KOs] for the IBF World super-featherweight title, and more fighters from these shores are expected to be confirmed in due course.

In the era of four major titles per weight division, no Irish fighter has ever held more than two simultaneously. Taylor would become the first if she was to overcome Volante, which would leave only the formidable figure of WBC queen Delfine Persoon [42-1, 17KOs] stood in her way on the path toward undisputed champion status.

Belgium’s Persoon defends her belt at home against the teak-tough and talented Melissa St Vil a week before Taylor-Volante, but is unofficially pencilled in to meet Taylor for all the belts in the summer provided both women emerge unscathed.

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Gavan Casey

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