Monday 27 February 2017

Exclusive - Eddie Hearn hoping Katie Taylor has Conor McGregor-style pulling power

Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Katie Taylor and Conor McGregor
Katie Taylor and Conor McGregor

Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn believes Katie Taylor could have the pulling power to compare to UFC king Conor McGregor as she prepares to launch her professional boxing career later this month.

Taylor is set to make her professional debut at Wembley Arena on November 26th, with Hearn ready to put her high up the undercard for Anthony Joshua’s world heavyweight title defence in Manchester on December 10th.

In an exclusive interview with Independent.ie, Hearn has laid out his vision for a green, white and gold glory trail that could lead to a world title fight next summer.

“I want to see thousands of Irish fans in the UK and the wonderful travelling fans in Ireland to come and give Katie their backing in her first few professional fights because this is going to be an exciting ride,” Hearn told us.

“The Irish people love Katie and rightly so as she has been a wonderful ambassador for your country, but I am hoping that her talents appeal to a wide audience in the UK and beyond and we are about to find out of that is the case.

“If this goes as I think it will, we believe that in three or four fights, we could look at getting Katie into the mix for a world title fight and that would have to be staged in Ireland.

“I want to see the Irish flags there and the fans cheering her on as only they can. You see what the Irish soccer fans are like and they are the best in the world.

“Then you look at the green invasion when Conor McGregor fights in Las Vegas and we want Katie’s fights to replicate those scenes.”

Taylor has set up a training camp with respected boxing guru Ross Enamait in America (above) ahead of her London debut, with tickets selling fast for an event that will showcase women’s boxing in the UK like never before.

“Katie’s first two fights are so important and we have to make sure we get them right because the future of women’s professional boxing is on the line here,” added Hearn.


“I don’t want to put too much pressure on Katie because she is already under pressure to prove herself as a professional, but these first two fights before Christmas will be make-or-break.

“When I look at reaction on my Twitter feed since I confirmed Katie was going to be fighting in my stable as a professional, I’d say 90 per-cent of it has been positive.

“Of those 90 per-cent, most people are excited and cannot wait to see her in the ring at the Wembley Arena on November 26th.

“Then there are those who say women should not be in a boxing ring and some sexist idiots saying she should be left in the kitchen, but you will get that attitude from a few who do not see a place for women in professional boxing.

“Well, we have a chance to change some opinions in the next couple of months, but all of us involved here appreciate that we cannot get this wrong.

“Everyone in Ireland knows and loves Katie Taylor after her incredible achievements as an amateur, but the UK audience will not be so familiar with her and they will look in on November 26th and make their judgments.

“If they see a mismatch or if they don’t enjoy watching women’s boxing, then they will not turn up again and the TV audiences will not be there.

“So we have a huge responsibility to make sure we put on a show because I am convinced that if we get this right, Katie can be a trailblazer for women’s professional boxing.”

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