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Dublin: 5°C Tuesday 13 April 2021

'She just said to me: 'I'm here, I'm here.' And I was like: 'Yeah... So am I''

Katie Taylor, Jono Carroll and their opponents have all safely made weight for their respective world-title clashes in Philly.

Rose Volante told Katie Taylor that she's in for a fight during the champions' staredown.
Rose Volante told Katie Taylor that she's in for a fight during the champions' staredown.
Image: Jeff Fusco/INPHO

Gavan Casey reports from the Liacouras Center, Philadelphia

THERE ARE FEW more iconic locations in boxing lore to shave off the extra couple of ounces than the 72 stone steps that pour down from the Art Museum of Philadelphia, spilling onto the city’s sprawling Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

There were no such fears for our Irish protagonists or their opponents on Thursday afternoon, however, as Katie Taylor and Jono Carroll, and their respective foes Rose Volante and Tevin Farmer, all made weight for their world-title doubleheader at Liacouras Center on Friday night.

Taylor and Carroll posed atop the ‘Rocky Steps’ on Wednesday, each absorbing a meaty piece of boxing culture ahead of bids to add their own piece to the sport’s history.

The Braywoman, who weighed in comfortably at 133.9lbs, will become the first-ever Irish fighter in the four-belts era to don three of those straps simultaneously should she vanquish Volante (133.2) in their lightweight unification clash.

Katie Taylor and Rose Volante Katie Taylor and Rose Volante take centre-stage in Philly. Source: Jeff Fusco/INPHO

Victory for Taylor will also set up a showdown with Belgium’s WBC champion Delfine Persoon for the undisputed lightweight championship of the world. No Irish fighter in the modern era has ever held the mantle, and only two current pugilists, male or female — Norwegian welterweight Cecilia Braekhus and Ukrainian cruiserweight Oleksandr Usyk — can call themselves the unequivocal queen or king of their divisions.

Carroll, the 6/1 underdog who at a press conference in January claimed his opponent’s hometown of Philadelphia would become a part of his family’s history when he wrestles the IBF World super-featherweight title from Tevin Farmer on Friday night, was in typically buoyant humour as he tipped the scales at 129.2.

Champion Farmer, defending his belt in a long-awaited homecoming, came in at 129.7.

They call this the City of Brotherly Love, but there is none lost between the two headliners. Farmer and Carroll have twice been separated during face-offs in January and at Wednesday’s press conference, and Thursday’s weigh-in saw the Philly native make gun gestures towards Carroll as the jostled to the left of the scales.

Taylor’s staredowns tend to be more stoic in their appearance. The former Olympic champion would appear to stare through an opponent rather than a them, and is often the first to ease the tension by way of a breakaway and a handshake.

This one was slightly different, however: Volante posed in a fighter’s stance with her right fist pointed toward’s Taylor’s chin. The WBO champion said something to Taylor before herself offering a handshake.

Post-weigh in, Taylor — on her way to the fighter’s meeting with broadcasters DAZN, told The42 with a laugh:

“She just said to me: ‘I’m here, I’m here.’ And I was like: ‘Yeah… So am I.’

‘I never hid!’ – Rose Volante ready to halt Katie Taylor’s march in unification clash

Taylor: ‘There were times when I didn’t even ask how much I was getting for the fights – I’d just find out afterwards’

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