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Taylor's world title shot set for Joshua undercard, Hearn denies approaching Frampton

The Bray native had looked set to fight in London early next month, but the plan may now change.

Katie Taylor (file pic).
Katie Taylor (file pic).
Image: Nick Potts

KATIE TAYLOR’S WORLD-title shot will take place on Anthony Joshua’s next fight bill, according to Eddie Hearn, while the Matchroom promoter has insisted that he has not approached Carl Frampton about his promotional future.

Former Olympic champion Taylor had looked set to fight in London early next month in a penultimate bout before challenging for the women’s WBA world lightweight title later this year, but that plan now depends on what date is set for Joshua’s next world heavyweight title defence.

Matchroom are expected to confirm plans for Joshua within the next week, which will have a direct impact on Taylor’s title tilt, with Hearn currently weighing up two options for the bill.

It’ll be Cardiff on 28th October or Vegas on 11 November,” explained Hearn. “100% we want Katie to fight for a world-title on the Joshua card, so it’s just a case of whether we squeeze one more fight in (before that).

“In an ideal world, I think she would have one more fight against a fringe-world-level opponent, but opponents are so hard to find and secure for her… so I think we’ll probably just go straight into a world-title fight,” added Hearn, who confirmed that Taylor could box on one of three fight cards next month if she does have time for a keep-busy bout.

A 1 September date at London’s York Hall seems most likely if the Bray woman is to fight next month, although an undercard slot on one of two California fight bills later in the month is also a possibility.

We can put her on any of those cards,” said Hearn.  “We’ll know about Joshua next week, but if it lands on 28 October, which is probably the favourite (date), I don’t think Katie should fight again before that because it’s only 10 weeks away.

“But if it’s 11 November for Joshua then she will probably fight in early September,” added the promoter, who admitted that the convoluted world of boxing politics means that it is not yet certain which of the ‘major’ female world lightweight champions Taylor will fight.

Meanwhile, the Matchroom promoter also reiterated that he has not been in talks with former two-weight world champion Frampton, despite reports that the Belfast native may be set to leave Barry McGuigan’s Cyclone Promotions.

Frampton’s future has been the subject of speculation since his fight against Mexican Andres Guttierrez was cancelled in dramatic circumstances last month.

BBC Northern Ireland this week reported that Frampton’s eight-year partnership with manager McGuigan ‘may be close to ending’, with neither Cyclone nor Frampton publicly denying the reports.

Hearn, who previously promoted Frampton en route to his European title success in 2013, admitted he is keen to revive their promotional relationship if the fighter is keen on a switch, although the Matchroom chief dismissed speculation that an approach had been made.

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“The fact is I haven’t had any business conversations with Carl for probably three years or however long it’s been,” said Hearn. “I don’t know his contractual situation at the moment, but I think the silence (from Cyclone) probably speaks volumes.

The first thing I would be looking to do if there was no problem in this situation is to put out a statement or speak to the media and they’re not doing that, so I can only presume it (rumours of a split) is true.

“If it is true, do we want Carl Frampton to be part of Matchroom and Sky again? Absolutely — he’s one of the best fighters in the world.

They [Cyclone] may come out and say, ‘I don’t know what all this rubbish is about, we’re absolutely fine’. But it’s unlikely with the silence,” added the promoter.

It is understood that Frampton currently remains contracted to McGuigan as his manager in addition to being tied to a promotional deal with Cyclone.  The 30-year-old had a slightly fractious relationship with Hearn during his time fighting under Matchroom’s banner, so a promotional switch would come as a major surprise.

Cyclone yesterday released a statement confirming that Frampton’s postponed fight against Gutierrez will not be rescheduled as an attempt to book a November date was unsuccessful.

In what could be viewed as an effort to dismiss further speculation surrounding Frampton’s future, the statement also said: “We are currently working to arrange a date for a new fight and we are confident that Carl Frampton will become a world champion again.”

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Ciarán Gallagher

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