Monday 22 January 2018

Eddie Hearn explains why Katie Taylor world title fight this weekend is bigger than her Olympic final

Boxer Katie Taylor, left, and promoter Eddie Hearn
Boxer Katie Taylor, left, and promoter Eddie Hearn
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Katie Taylor's promoter Eddie Hearn believes the Bray woman's world title bout this weekend is bigger than her gold medal fight at London 2012.

Taylor faces unbeaten Argentine Anahi Sanchez for the WBA lightweight title on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight fight against Carlos Takam on Saturday in Cardiff.

Hearn believes his fighter is prepared for the fight and claimed it will be bigger than winning Olympic gold if she is successful.

"It crunch time isn't it. She's had a wonderful start to her career, obviously debuting last November and now 11 months on, she's thrown in the deep end in a real fight for a world title against a two-weight world champion in Anahi Sanchez," he told RTE Sport.

"I think the team are a little bit on edge arriving in Cardiff but Katie has been under pressure before and she has come through the other side and I expect her to become world champion on Saturday.

"She is talking about this as the biggest moment of her career so far. I think she is someone that lives in the present. The Olympic gold medal was a huge occasion for her. But I think now she sees herself as a professional fighter and this is important to her.

"To win a world championship as a pro would be extremely important in terms of her targets so this is a crunch fight for Katie Taylor. She is expected to win.

"I’ve spoke to Anahi Sanchez’s camp and they are very confident. They see her as very inexperienced in the pro game and they certainly are here to win."

Taylor's ambition is to have a first title defence in Dublin in 2018 but Hearn is warning that Sanchez will be a much better opponent than anything she has faced so far in the pro ranks.

"The jump from her previous opponent to Saturday night is huge. That is the problem. There is not that middle ground of talent.

"You’re either an elite world champion or a fighter that boxes on the circuit and sort of prepares to come through. Natasha Jonas has turned pro and she is now 3-0.

"There is a girl in America signed with Top Rank from the Olympics. She is at lightweight. I think that Katie Taylor is going to unify divisions, move up in weight and continue to test herself. 

"But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. She must win on Saturday to become world champion.

"Katie is a meticulous pro. Her preparation is always good. This time she has had a longer camp because it is 10 rounds. For the first time she may have to go 10 rounds in a contest.

"Sometimes if she is boxing six or eight rounds the camp will be a bit shorter but this time she has had a good break from her New York fight.

"She has had a great camp and she’s very nervous but she is well-prepared and ready to go."

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