Saturday 21 July 2018

'They advised us the climate is not conducive to having a fight' - Irish homecoming not on the cards for Katie Taylor

28 April 2018; Katie Taylor following her WBA and IBF World Lightweight unification bout with Victoria Bustos at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
28 April 2018; Katie Taylor following her WBA and IBF World Lightweight unification bout with Victoria Bustos at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Sean McGoldrick

Katie Taylor will have three more fights in 2018 – two of which are likely to take place in the US.

But the new unified world lightweight champion has no plans to fight in Dublin in the foreseeable future.

While she is back in Ireland for a short break with her family in Bray, she will resume light training next week before beginning serious preparations for her next fight in July, once she returns in mid-May to her training base in Connecticut.

But though Taylor said she would love to fight in Ireland, it’s not on the agenda at the moment.

While reluctant to go into the specific details, her Irish manager Brian Peters said: "We had talks recently with the powers that be and they advised us that the climate is not conducive to having a fight night.

"It’s very tricky, really, to get into it. We still hope to fight here. But if you want to run a show; there are the sanctioning bodies, the Gardai; there are a whole load of boxes you have to tick," he said.

It is believed that there are security reasons as well as insurance issues involved in staging a high profile professional show in Dublin at the moment in the wake of the shooting in the Regency Hotel in 2016 during a boxing weigh-in and another shooting incident outside the National Stadium during an amateur championship in January.

While no specific date has yet been scheduled for Taylor’s next fight, Peters said the preferred option was another unification fight against the WBO world lightweight belt holder Rose Volante from Brazil in London in July. However, no contract has yet been signed.

"Politics comes into it," said Peters.  "And then there are mandatory defences with some of the world governing bodies wanting to keep the belts active.

"I’d love to unify the division - that’s my ambition. I’m not sure if it’s going to happen this year or not. There’s the politics of the whole thing as well," admitted Peters.

There is speculation that world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua – who like Taylor is managed by Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom organisation – will have a warm-up fight on the last weekend in August in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn against another Matchroom managed heavyweight Jarrell 'Big Baby' Miller, who won at the venue last weekend.

In the event of a Joshua v Miller fight going ahead on August 25, Taylor could face a mandatory defence of either her WBA or IBF belts on the same show.

The second fight planned for the US in 2018 could be the final reunification showdown against WBC lightweight title holder Delfine Persoon, if the Belgian is interested in a big pay day.

"At the end of the day they are all going to have to fight Katie and they are all going to get beat. They are all going to get well paid and they are all going to have to step up whatever way they want to come.

"It’s only once in a fight time that an athlete like Katie Taylor comes along," said Peters, who added that a fight against five-time world champion Amanda Serrano, who is a native of Puerto Rica but is based on Brooklyn, is also on the cards.

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