Tuesday 21 November 2017

Katie Taylor set to fight at Madison Square Garden on St Patrick's weekend

Katie Taylor
Katie Taylor
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Ireland's Katie Taylor is in line to star on the undercard of Gennady Golovkin's world title defence on St Patrick's weekend next year.

Taylor is currently preparing to make her professional bow against Poland's Karina Kopinska at Wembley this Saturday but is already pencilled in for the massive event in New York.

“It looks like we’re set for 18 March at Madison Square Gardens after discussions with Tom Loeffler over the weekend. It’s a huge opportunity for Katie Taylor,” her promoter Eddie Hearn revealed this afternoon in Dublin.

Her second professional bout will come on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s world title defence in Manchester on December 10 before her trip across the Atlantic in the spring.

Hearn is genuinely excited at the prospect of working with the five-time amateur world champion.

“Some of you spoke to me after Katie’s gold medal in London about the possibility of her turning pro. There didn’t seem to be the same kind of appetite from broadcasters than there is now.

“Women’s sport is really flourishing across networks and channels and after her performances, and of course the recent Olympics, I received a text from Katie asking would I be interested in promoting her.

“After she came over to the office with Brian Peters, her mum Bridget I was just fascinated about Katie Taylor.

“She reminded me about everything that was important about top-level sport and in boxing every day we’re battling with egos and politics and here was someone who showed me the purity of the sport.

“The fact that it was just about winning and Katie Taylor is obsessed about winning. That is the reality.

“I believe it’s not about women’s boxing breaking through, it’s about the product breaking through. What that means is if you’re entertaining, you’re entertaining. Doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman, it’s irrelevant.

“She’s going to break down all the barriers.”

Taylor's bid to become a double Olympic gold medallist was shattered when she lost her opening bout to Finland's Mira Potkonen in the Brazilian capital in August.

But she is intent on putting the bad memories behind her starting with this weekend's bout against experienced Pole Karina Kopinska.

Taylor said: "It was heartbreaking to lose in Rio, everyone that knows me knows how much the Olympics means to me, and I'd love to be walking out as a two-time Olympic gold medallist but it wasn't meant to be.

"It hasn't altered my confidence at all. Life is all about ups and downs, mountain tops and valleys, sometimes you have to persevere through tough times. I still have a lot of confidence and belief in myself and the best is yet to come.

"It's been a disappointing year but I've also had some great performances too, people haven't talked about them, but it hasn't been all bad.

"There's been a lot of positives that have come out of the last year but we're moving on now so the past is irrelevant - I'm making a debut and that's what I am focussed on."

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