Tuesday 11 December 2018

Katie Taylor's first world title defence put on hold as eye injury rules out Chicago bout

Newly crowned WBA Female World Lightweight Champion Katie Taylor with stitches above her right eye
Newly crowned WBA Female World Lightweight Champion Katie Taylor with stitches above her right eye

Sean McGoldrick

Katie Taylor's plans to defend her WBA World lightweight title in Chicago in seven weeks' time have been put on hold due to the eye injury sustained during her gruelling victory over Anahi Esther Sanchez.

Taylor had three stitches inserted in the wound over her right eye after the contest in Cardiff.

She will be unable to spar for a number of weeks and couldn't risk boxing again on the planned December 16 card, which would have been beamed live across the US via the Showtime channel.

Jessica McCaskill, 33, a native of Chicago, was being lined up as Taylor's opponent for a top-of-the-bill showdown in the city's UIC Pavilion, which has hosted five of the American's six professional fights.

Though McCaskill lost one of those fights, she has 'called out' Taylor and the new champion wants to respond. 

Taylor wants to unify the division, and Belgian native Defline Persoon, who defends her WBC belt on Saturday week, is another obvious opponent.

She is now the only lightweight rated higher than Taylor in the BoxRec world rankings.

But Taylor's promoters, Matchroom, and her Irish manager Brian Peters, are more interested in contests against higher-profile boxers.

McCaskill, Natasha Jonas - who Taylor beat in a memorable bronze medal fight at the London Olympics in 2012 - Rio Olympian Mikaela Mayer, from the US, and Chantelle Cameron, who is managed by Barry McGuigan, are all probable future opponents.

Taylor will now almost certainly return to the ring in the spring on the same bill as Anthony Joshua's next defence of his World heavyweight belts, which is likely to be against either American Deontay Wilder or Joseph Parker from New Zealand.

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