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Katie Taylor's world title shot likely to be in Dublin this November - Hearn

Eddie Hearn gearing Taylor towards US debut before homecoming for title shot.

Katie Taylor prepares the enter the ring Source: Lawrence Lustig/INPHO

KATIE TAYLOR WILL fight in the US this summer in order to boost her profile Stateside ahead of a homecoming world-title shot in November, according to promoter Eddie Hearn.

The former Olympic champion is set to have her fifth pro bout next month in London, just five weeks after her latest victory – a dominant points win over Bulgarian former world-title challenger Milena Kolvea in Manchester last Saturday night.

Taylor is due back in the ring on the undercard of the world heavyweight title clash between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium on 29 April.

Matchroom promoter Hearn is lining up a US ring date for the 30-year-old if she comes through that bout, while the Irishwoman is expected to take a few weeks off during the summer before possibly boxing in Europe.

And Hearn then hopes to book a Dublin homecoming for the Bray native to challenge for a world title in November.

“Yeah, late May or early June,” said Hearn on a likely US ring date. “Then [she will] have July off, come back and box in September, and then box in November for a world title,” added the promoter, who is keen to have Taylor box in the US as soon as possible.

Taylor had been due to fight in New York on St Patrick’s weekend before promotional issues scuppered that plan.

Katie Taylor floors Milena Koleva Source: Lawrence Lustig/INPHO

“Ireland is realistic for her first world title [fight], but I think she needs to go and have a fight in America after Wembley,” explained the Matchroom Boxing chief.

“Then go off and have the summer off and then come back and have one more [warm-up fight] and then fight for the world title.

“So three fights, tops, before she fights for a world title,” added Hearn, who claims he has been in regular contact with Stephen Espinoza, sports executive at US broadcasters Showtime, after the American TV channel once again screened highlights of a Taylor bout last weekend.

“Showtime chose to show her again and Stephen Espinoza text me said, ‘Her boxing is so sharp, she’s more fluid and natural than any female boxer that I can remember’,” said Hearn.

“They love her in America and I wrote back and said, ‘We’ve got to get her on [TV] in the States’, because the plan is to fight for a world title in Ireland, but I do think we need a trip to America.”

Katie Taylor with her team after the fight Source: Lawrence Lustig/INPHO

Taylor’s victory over Koleva last weekend came over eight two-minute rounds, although the Bray native’s team are understood to be lobbying boxing officials in a campaign to introduce three-minute rounds to women’s boxing in line with men’s bouts.

Last Saturday’s bout was the 30-year-old’s first eight-round contest, with her three previous paid bouts having been scheduled for six rounds – although only one of those fights went the distance.

However, with the bumper Wembley fight card likely to have a stacked support bill – a 90,000 crowd will be present – Matchroom promoter Hearn admitted that Taylor is unlikely to box more than six rounds on 29 April.

“It was really important to get eight rounds under the belt [ahead of a] title fight,” said Hearn on Taylor’s win last Saturday.

“I think she wants to feel confident enough to move to a world-title fight. There’s not going to be many opportunities to fight in eight and 10-rounders because we’re boxing her everywhere.

“Wembley will probably be a six-round [fight] just because of time constraints,” continued the promoter, who insists Taylor will be ready for a 10-round title shot later this year.

“The rounds don’t bother me as much now. She’s done eight rounds. She’s more than fit to do eight rounds or 10 rounds,” added Hearn.

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Ciarán Gallagher

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