Wednesday 19 December 2018

What channel, what time and what's at stake? Everything you need to know about Katie Taylor v Anahi Sanchez

Katie Taylor and Anahi Sanchez after weighing in
Katie Taylor and Anahi Sanchez after weighing in
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

After a chaotic build-up to the biggest fight of her professional boxing career, Ireland’s golden girl Katie Taylor will still get her chance to claim her first world title when she takes on Anahi Esther Sanchez in Cardiff on Saturday.

Argentine champion Sanchez has been forced to vacate her WBA title belt as she twice failed to make the 9st 9lb weight limit, yet Taylor will still be crowned as a world champion if she beats her rival on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s world heavyweight title defence against Carlos Takam.

Here is all you need to know about the Taylor's biggest fight since her London Olympic Games gold meal clash back in 2012.

Who is Anahi Esther Sanchez?

The now former WBA World Lightweight title holder has a reasonably impressive record, winning all but two of her 19 professional bouts and winning the world title with a TKO against Cecilia Sofia Mena in September.

The Argentine brawler also had success fighting for an IBF version of the title and is widely regarded to be the toughest opponent Taylor has fought after winning her fight six fights with relative ease since turning professional last year.

What is at stake?

The WBA Lightweight title that is now vacant after Sanchez twice failed to make the weight on Friday. If Sanchez wins, she will not reclaim the world title belt as her weigh-in issues mean only Taylor can be crowned as world champions on Saturday night.

What time does the fight start?

Matchroom Promotion have told Independent.ie that Taylor’s fight could start as early as 7pm at the Principality Stadium, with a later start time also possible depending on how the undercard progresses.

Joshua's fight with Takam is scheduled to start at 10pm, with a sell-out crowd expected to be in attendance under the roof to create a sparkling atmosphere.

Where can you watch it?

Sky Box Office have exclusive coverage of a night that will include Taylor’s maiden world title fight, while Britain's Kal Yafai defends his WBA super-flyweight title and Dillian Whyte bids to prove he is ready for a world heavyweight title shot in a bout with Robert Helenius. All that before Joshua v Takam.

What do the bookies say?

Even though Sanchez is a world champion, bookies have her at huge odds of 18/1 to win the fight, with Taylor virtually unbackable at 1/40.

What the promoter says - Eddie Hearn

"It crunch time. She's had a wonderful start to her career, obviously debuting last November and now 11 months on, she's thrown in the deep end in a real fight for a world title against a two-weight world champion in Anahi Sanchez.

"I think the team are a little bit on edge arriving in Cardiff but Katie has been under pressure before and she has come through the other side and I expect her to become world champion on Saturday.

"She is talking about this as the biggest moment of her career so far. I think she is someone that lives in the present. The Olympic gold medal was a huge occasion for her. But I think now she sees herself as a professional fighter and this is important to her.

"To win a world championship as a pro would be extremely important in terms of her targets so this is a crunch fight for Katie Taylor. She is expected to win."

What Katie Taylor says:

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