Friday 18 August 2017

Vegas on cards for Taylor after impressive win at Wembley

Taylor: “I think I’ve learned a lot over the last few months, just being around seasoned pros.” Photo by Lawrence Lustig/Sportsfile
Taylor: “I think I’ve learned a lot over the last few months, just being around seasoned pros.” Photo by Lawrence Lustig/Sportsfile

Sean McGoldrick

A World title fight in November at Dublin's 3Arena is the ultimate goal. But the next destination on Katie Taylor's boxing journey could be Las Vegas on June 17 for her sixth fight in 29 weeks.

The Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in the city will host the eagerly anticipated world light-heavyweight title rematch between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev in seven weeks' time.

There is a distinct possibility that Taylor - who secured her fifth professional win and third inside the distance at Wembley Stadium on Saturday night - will fight on the undercard, according to her Irish manager, Brian Peters. He said: "If Sky ends up with the (television) rights of the Ward-Kovalev fight, there's a real good chance Katie could be on it."

A decision is likely to be made in the next week as Katie's coach, Ross Enamait, wants her to have a six-week training camp in Connecticut and a week to acclimatise ahead of her debut in what is arguably the spiritual home of professional boxing.

Even though Barry McGuigan and Carl Frampton surrendered world titles there, Taylor is excited by the challenge.

She has never fought in the United States and has never even visited Las Vegas. "Cool, that'd be great," she remarked.

Interrupted

Interestingly, one of the most influential figures in the sport and the head of HBO's boxing division, 34-year-old Harvard graduate Peter Nelson briefly interrupted Taylor's informal press conference to personally congratulate her.

Highlights of Taylor's lopsided fight were shown on the HBO network, though of course it was overshadowed by the extraordinary top-of-the-bill clash between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko.

Taylor's principal backers Sky Sport and Eddie Hearn's Matchroom organisation want to promote the Bray pugilist in the United States so she may be bound for Sin City in June.

"I thought the pace of the fight was quite good, I eased myself in it," Taylor said after her seventh-round stoppage of German Nina Meinke in London. "I had to get my distances as well. I didn't want to blow my load.

"I probably didn't close the ring off as well as I could at times and my jab was kind of non-existent in the fight as well. There's a few little things I have to improve.

"Ross (Enamait) told me to kind of stamp my authority early on in the fight and make sure she knows that she doesn't deserve to be here. She was so weak in comparison to the guys that I've been sparring for these last few weeks and I was able to rough her up inside as well.

"I think I've learned a lot over the last few months, just being around seasoned pros."

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