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'There are so many dirty fighters out there' - Katie Taylor welcomes move towards more consistent drug testing


Promoter Eddie Hearn, Katie Taylor and Christina Linardatou during the press conference for Saturday's world title fight

Promoter Eddie Hearn, Katie Taylor and Christina Linardatou during the press conference for Saturday's world title fight

Promoter Eddie Hearn, Katie Taylor and Christina Linardatou during the press conference for Saturday's world title fight

On the eve of her historic world super lightweight title fight in the Manchester Arena, Katie Taylor has called for more drug testing in professional boxing.

Taylor is aiming to follow in the footsteps of Steve Collins and Carl Frampton and become only the third Irish professional boxer to win world belts in two different weight divisions on Saturday night.

The Manchester showdown against the current WBO super lightweight champion Christina Linardatou has already made history. It is the first women's World title fight which will be subjected to rigorous drug testing under the Voluntary Anti Drug Programme (VADA) code which operates at the highest level of pro boxing.

Taylor welcomed the move.

"There definitely needs to be more drug testing in the sport because there have been so many dirty tests over the last few years. There are so many dirty fighters out there at the moment and so many rumoured dirty fighters as well.

"So the testing needs to be more consistent between the fights," said Taylor who has already been tested twice under the VADA programme – the first being both a blood and urine test conducted during her training camp in Connecticut.

Both fighters will be tested again immediately before and after Saturday's night fight which is expected to attract an attendance of around 11,000 to the 21,000 capacity venue.

The downside of the testing programme is that it is prohibitively expensive. Taylor's promoter Eddie Hearn from Matchroom revealed that it costs between 20,000 and 30,000 dollars to implement the VADA protocol for each fight.

"It is so expensive that it is impossible to do it as consistently as we would like, but every major fight is tested."

Taylor manager Brian Peters confirmed that all her future opponents must agree to participate in the VADA programme before a fight contract is signed.

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Regardless of the outcome on Saturday night Taylor will hold on to the five belts she won by becoming the undisputed 135lb lightweight World champion.

She is moving up five pounds in a bid to win the WBO super lightweight – also known as the light welterweight – belt with the ultimate view of unifying this divisions as well.

She is looking forward to the challenge, though is well aware of the risks involved and has just completed her longest ever training camp ahead of a professional fight.

"I'm feeling well prepared and strong and this is the kind of challenge that I absolutely relish. But I expect a very tough fight. She is the champion and I am the challenger.

"Obviously because I'm moving up a weight division I'm in against a bigger and stronger opponent. But I have put in hundreds and hundreds of rounds of sparring in the last year as well as doing a lot of strength and conditioning work. I'm really feeling strong and I can't wait to get into the ring.

"There are a lot of big fights out there available for me. But my only focus is on Saturday and Christina (Linardatou). It is a big, big night for me and I'm completely focussed on it," said Taylor who as a 15-year old had her first ever sanctioned amateur night on Halloween night in 2001.

"I don't remember to much about it to be honest. But I do remember my opponent Alanna (Audley-Murphy). We became very good friends and travelled the world together afterwards when we were amateurs."

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