Friday 15 November 2019

'She is the queen' - Eddie Hearn pays tribute to 'perfect' Katie Taylor as she makes weight for second title tilt

Katie Taylor and Christina Linardatou face off during the weigh-in. Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff
Katie Taylor and Christina Linardatou face off during the weigh-in. Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

Sean McGoldrick

Five-belt world champion Katie Taylor and the defending WB0 super lightweight title holder Christina Linardatou have successfully weighed in ahead of their title fight in the Manchester Arena on Saturday night (Live on Sky Sport Main Event approximately 9.00pm).

Both fighters made the 140lb weight limit. Taylor tipped the scales at 139 pounds and nine ounces while Linardatou was a pound lighter at 138 pounds and eight ounces.

This is the first time in her career that Taylor has fought at 140lbs. Though her Greek opponent is more accustomed to the weight she is a more natural lightweight as well but boasts a serious punch in her right hand.

Although Taylor will hold on to her five lightweight belts regardless of the result there is a lot riding on the result, nonetheless.

Already the highest paid female fighter in the world,  Taylor stands to makes millions more if she can carry her unbeaten professional record into 2020 according to her promoter Eddie Hearn.

"She is the stand-out, there is nobody making money in women's boxing like Katie Taylor. She is the queen," declared the Matchroom chief executive.

He believes she deserved her rewards because she had changed the face of women's boxing since turning professional shortly after the Rio Olympics.

Now Taylor is set to feature in the first ever pay-per-view show featuring a top of the bill clash between two female fighters. A yet to be negotiated rematch between the Bray fighter and Delfine Persoon has been earmarked for the ground-breaking experiment next year.

Hearn predicted three super fights for Taylor in 2020 provided she wins on Saturday night with one of them likely to earn her a first ever million dollar purse.

"The game has changed so much. The purses have trebled in the last 18 months for everybody," said Hearn who claimed he's obliged to keep signing new contracts with Taylor to take account of her growing popularity.

Hearn marvels at Taylor's Spartan like lifestyle adding that he had never anyone like her.

"I mean, she's not human really. She lives over in Connecticut in this little flat. She gets up in the morning, does her run in the woods and the wilderness. She trains like a beast. But she's a special individual.

"And the great thing is she's actually quite warm as well. We've got a very working relationship. I deliver for her. She scares me a little bit. I don't want to talk to her too much, but we respect each other hugely, We know what the focus is.

"When you get her around kids -- like, she met my kids. I couldn't believe how she was with them. I mean, she was amazing. She took her time with them, she talked to them about the boxing, she asked them questions about sport and what they like doing.

"So there's a completely normal side of Katie Taylor that people don't really see. We just see this fearsome warrior that lives in an apartment and trains in the woods. But actually, she's a great family person. She's got amazing morals and ethics."

"I mean, there's nothing to hide, is there? Like, you know she's not all of a sudden going to live a bad life or treat people badly or be disrespectful to someone. She's perfect in every way," said Hearn.

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