Thursday 21 September 2017

Chances of Katie Taylor's US debut in Las Vegas next month have increased significantly

Katie Taylor celebrates victory in her WBA Inter-Continental Lightweight Championship bout with Nina Meinke
Katie Taylor celebrates victory in her WBA Inter-Continental Lightweight Championship bout with Nina Meinke

Sean McGoldrick

The chances of Katie Taylor making her US debut in Las Vegas next month have increased significantly.

It has been announced that Sky Sports has secured the TV rights in the UK for the eagerly anticipated world light-heavyweight title rematch between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev in Las Vegas on June 17.

This greatly increases the chances of Taylor – who is backed by Sky Sports – making her American debut on the undercard of the fight which will be staged in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in the city.

It is believed that the two main US TV Networks which feature boxing, HBO and Showtime, are interested in securing the television rights for Katie’s fights in the States.

HBO are screening the Ward/Kovalev rematch in the US. Interestingly after Katie’s last fight in Wembley Stadium one of the visitors to her addressing room was Peter Nelson, head of HBO’s boxing division.

Having secured the WBA intercontinental lightweight belt with a seventh-round stoppage victory over German rookie Nina Meinke last month, Katie remains on target to challenge for a world lightweight title in Dublin in November.

However, both Sky Sports and Matchroom Promotions – her primary backers – are anxious that she showcases her talents in the US before then.

In the event of the fight on June 17 going ahead, it will be her sixth professional contest in 29 weeks. She has a perfect 5-0 record, winning three inside the distance.

She is likely to face a US based opponent with 32-year-old Jessica McCaskill, who is ranked number one in the lightweight category by BoxRec – Taylor is seventh – and has a 4-1 record or Arkansas based Kimberly Connor (36) with a 12-3-2 record heading the list of possible opponents.

Meanwhile, Dubliner Phi Sutcliffe Jr aims to secure the IBF Intercontinental welterweight title when he takes on unbeaten Middlesbrough fighter Josh Leather in Leeds on Saturday night.

Sutcliffe has lost just one of his 13 professional fights. The bout will be shown live on BT Sport and Box Nation. The live telecast begins at 7pm.

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