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New challenge now for Katie

McCaskill calls for Taylor re-match

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Katie Taylor with her belts after her Undisputed Lightweight Titles fight against Delfine Persoon at Brentwood in Essex

Katie Taylor with her belts after her Undisputed Lightweight Titles fight against Delfine Persoon at Brentwood in Essex

Mark Robinson / Matchroom Boxing

Katie Taylor with her belts after her Undisputed Lightweight Titles fight against Delfine Persoon at Brentwood in Essex

Katie Taylor has been challenged to 'complete unfinished business' by Jessie McCaskill, the new emerging star in women's professional boxing.

Taylor beat the Chicago-based merchant banker in the first defence of her WBA World title in London's York Hall in December 2017 but the American used the fight as a springboard to relaunch her then flagging career.

The unified super lightweight world champion hit the jackpot last weekend, fashioning a sensational points win over the long-time world welterweight title holder Cecilia Braekhus.

She now holds six world belts at two different weights and the prospect of a showdown between McCaskill and Taylor, with ten world belts across three weight divisions up for grabs, is every promoter's dream.

Meanwhile, Taylor was last night savouring her unanimous point win over arch-rival Persoon, though she acknowledged that judge Victor Loughlin's score of 98-93 in her favour did not reflect how close the contest on Saturday night

"It was a bit wide and bit disrespectful to Persoon," said Taylor who felt the other two scorecards of 96-94 was a truer reflection of another enthralling showdown between the two top-rated pound for pound fighters in the world.

Speaking on Sky News, she admitted it was a battle to stay disciplined during the 20-minute contest.

"I was trying to be more disciplined, and for the most part I was. But it's hard to box against someone like that because of how relentless she is. You have to get her respect by standing and fighting, which I did in some parts.

"Overall, it was a great performance and a great victory. It was always going to be that sort of fight. It's never going to be an easy fight against someone like that, who just comes and comes.

"She was relentless for ten rounds and it's hard to keep someone like that at long distance. I knew I would have to dig deep and fight. The fight went as planned and I thought I boxed a lot smarter this time.

"I was dragged into a fight at times but, for the most part, I boxed a bit smarter. It was a better performance. She put up a fantastic fight. We're had two fights, put in 20 gruelling rounds, and it's great to have that rivalry in women's boxing," said Taylor.

A deal to make a super fight between Taylor and McCaskill is not straight-forward and there is there is no immediate prospect of the fight taking place.

Given the gruelling nature of the Persoon fight following on from an unprecedented nine-month long training camp in Connecticut, Taylor will take some deserved time out at home with her family in Bray.

The future course of the Covid-19 pandemic will have the biggest influence on the next stage of Taylor's career in the short to medium term.

Reluctant

Matchroom would be reluctant to stage a mega fight between Taylor and McCaskill behind closed doors given the lack of gate receipts.

Despite McCaskill calling out Taylor, she may have to face Braekhus in a rematch. While the 38-year -old Norwegian fighter hinted that she might retire immediately after her first career loss last weekend the probability is that she will re-consider her decision.

McCaskill has admitted that she expects Braekhus, who has a promotional deal with Matchroom, to exercise her contractual right to have a rematch.

"I think Cecilia will come back for the rematch. In two weeks or so, I think she will realize that you can't take the fight out of a fighter and she will want to try to get these belts back. She had them for so long and I think that hunger will be there."

The Taylor and McCaskill camps would also have to agree on what weight they pair would fight at.

Last weekend's clash between McCaskill and Braekhus was at the catch-all weigh of 145lbs - two pound lighter than welter weight but five pounds heavier than super lightweight.

McCaskill looks more comfortable fighting at the heavier weight. All but one of Taylor 16 professional lights have been in the 135lbs lightweight division. She did move up to 140lbs for her WBO super lightweight title fight against Christina Linardatou last November in Manchester.

Prior to her first clash against Taylor in 2017, McCaskill and her trainer/manager Rick Ramon spent months calling out the Irish fighter, who had just won the first of her four world titles. It looks like she is set to follow a similar strategy of megaphone diplomacy this time around.

She tweeted: "Hey Katie, Good fight, Congratulations on the victory, You know what time it is. Have Eddie Hearn call Rick Ramos (her manager). Now that is complete you have unfinished business with me. So let's get it done."

The Taylor v Serrano fight could be revived but Taylor's next opponent is more likely to be Liverpool native Natasha Jonas, who was a guest TV analyst for the fight on Saturday night.

The pair famously clashed in the Olympic quarter-final in London's ExCel centre when the decibel level hit 113.7 - the highest recorded at the London Olympics.

Jonas revived her flagging professional career when she drew with fellow British fighter Terri Harper ,who is the current WBC and IBO super featherweight world champion, earlier this month.

A Taylor-Jonas fight would dovetail neatly alongside a heavyweight re-match between Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin which is being mooted for December.

The Russian pulled off a major shock when he knocked out the Whyte in the fifth round of their clash on Saturday night.