Saturday 14 December 2019

'Caskilla' in Katie sights

Search on for challenger to new world champion Taylor

Katie Taylor has been called out by American Jessica ‘Caskilla’ McCaskill. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Katie Taylor has been called out by American Jessica ‘Caskilla’ McCaskill. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Not everyone wants to fight Katie Taylor, the newly-crowned WBA women's world lightweight champion.

In the past, having agreed to fight, opponents have pulled out at short notice.

As he sets about organising Taylor's first title defence, which is scheduled to be screened live on Sky Sports on December 15, Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn says: "Now that she's got the belt it's going to be easier to map out opponents."

Katie's manager Brian Peters also believes having a world title on offer will help matters.

"It's been a huge problem," he admits. "For the American fight (against Jasmine Clarkson in Brooklyn last July) we went through 20 opponents. Now they can get paid a lot more money. They can get a lot more notice. They'll get to fight for a title and top fights on big shows, which is important. Any of the women that are professional and serious about their prospects, this is what they want."

Running through a list of potential challengers, Hearn homes in on Jessica 'Caskilla' McCaskill (5-1, 3 KOs). "It's a fight you can build," he explains.

"I feel that Saturday (the title fight) was the big step. We've been making baby steps. Saturday was something we can build off. If we get the opponent right for December, we can build again from there. Hopefully Jessica McCaskill will actually take the fight. She'll look a bit silly if she doesn't."

When Chicago-based McCaskill (32) won the ABO Intercontinental lightweight title with a second-round stoppage of Canada's Natalie Brown (6-3, 4 KOs) in July, she threw down the gauntlet to Taylor calling her "a missing person".

McCaskill (6-0, 3 KOs) said: "We are looking for Katie Taylor, a missing person. I, Jessica McCaskill, the USA No 1 lightweight champion, versus Katie Taylor, Ireland's No 1 lightweight champion. Let's make it happen."


Knowing he needs meaningful fights to maintain the momentum Katie's been building, Hearn adds: "There is interest and it would be good to see some spite from Katie, as well. Already she's thinking, 'I'd like to fight this girl'."

Katie laughs off the idea of becoming involved in a trash-talking build-up to her first title defence, but says: "She hasn't left me alone for the last year. I look forward to the day I step into the ring with her. Seriously."

Manager Peters says they now have options.

"There are loads of good name opponents out there which mean something," he says. "That's important. It's whoever we can get. Unfortunately some people are going to get a bit carried away and price themselves out of it."

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