Tuesday 24 October 2017

Andy Lee set for Madison Square Garden return as Katie Taylor has next bout confirmed for undercard of title fight in March

Sean McGoldrick

Katie Taylor’s third professional fight will take place in the O2 in London on March 4th on the undercard of the heavyweight clash between David Haye and Tony Bellew.

The show, which will be broadcast on Sky Sports, is already a sell-out.

Originally it was hoped that Taylor would fight on the undercard of the middleweight showdown between Gennady Golovkin and Daniel Jacobs in New York’s Madison Square Garden on March 18.

However, that plan had to be scrapped after Top Rank – the company backing Michael Conlan’s professional debut in the iconic New York venue on St Patrick’s night – apparently objected to the fact that another Irish fighter would be boxing in the same venue 24 hours later.

But in another ironic twist to the saga there will still be a high profile Irish boxer on the March 18th show in Madison Square Garden after confirmation that former WBA World middleweight title holder Andy Lee is making his comeback on the card.

Olympic champion Taylor made her professional debut in the O2 in November with a third round stoppage win over over Karina Kopinska and followed that two weeks later with a points win over Viviane Obenauf in Manchester.

“It’s great to be on another big card in front of a huge crowd at an arena like The O2,” said Taylor.

“I think people are really excited about the Haye-Bellew fight and the rivalry between those guys and as a boxer these are the kind of nights you want to be a part of. It’s a massive stage for me and I’m really looking forward to it.

“I’ve been in the US for the last few weeks in training camp for the fight and working hard.

“It’s the start of a very big year for me and I know there are big plans but I need to keep winning and keep performing so I’m not looking any further beyond March 4.”

Meanwhile, Andy Lee’s trainer Adam Booth confirmed in a TV interview that the Limerick man – who hasn’t fought since surrendering his world belt to Billy Joe Saunders in December 2015 - is on the comeback trail.

Lee will have happy memories of Madison Square Garden as he knocked out John Jackson in a key fight there in 2014.

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