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Tuesday 11 December 2018

Taylor's a big deal Stateside

Katie lining up two more lucrative US fights after tonight's defence

IN DEMAND: Katie Taylor is seen as a ‘big prospect for TV’ by streaming giant DAZN Pic: Sportsfile
IN DEMAND: Katie Taylor is seen as a ‘big prospect for TV’ by streaming giant DAZN Pic: Sportsfile

"We hope to add a third fight before Christmas," reveals Katie Taylor's manager Brian Peters as Ireland's WBA and IBF world lightweight champion prepares to defend her titles in London tonight.

"These are exciting times," adds the Dunshaughlin svengali. "It's definitely going the right way."

There was surprise when, before the outcome of tonight's mandatory title defence against Kimberly Connor (13-3-2, 5 KOs) was decided, Matchroom announced plans for Katie to fight Cindy Serrano in Chicago on October 6.

But as Peters points out, "It's definitely building for Katie in the States. She's getting more proposals to fight."

With her Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn having signed a $1bn deal to stage events with streaming giant DAZN in the US, Katie is perfectly positioned to benefit from the London's marketing nous.

"DAZN see her as a big prospect for TV, the same as Anthony Joshua," says Peters of the company that's aiming to become "the Netflix of sport".

But Taylor (9-0, 4 KOs) refuses to speculate on the future. Her primary focus is on beating Arkansas fighter Connor - ranked 4 by the WBA - who she describes as "a dangerous fighter", at the O2 Arena tonight.

"I've prepared for this fight as if it will be the toughest I've ever had," she says.

With two titles outstanding before Katie fulfils her ambition of unifying the belts and becoming the undisputed world champion, Peters and Hearn are anxious to keep the Taylor juggernaut rolling.

Hearn says: "We'd rather have a unification fight on this card but Katie has to go through these stages and plan the future."

Serrano (27-5-3, 10 KOs) is WBO featherweight champion. She will move up two weights and add almost 5kg to fight Taylor.

"She has fought at welterweight," says Peters. "Women fighters go up and down in weight divisions more than men. She's durable. I expect it will be a good, tough fight."

With Katie nominated for the British Boxing Board of Control's Overseas Fighter of the Year Award, she continues to make history.

"It's another first," enthuses Peters. "Another barrier overcome. Another historical achievement."

Irritation

Peters has expressed his irritation that other women fighters aren't as pro-active as Katie, saying: "There are big fights out there. They need to have a good ranking," he adds, listing a number of women fighters he feels have the right approach to the professional game.

"WBO super bantamweight champion Amanda Serrano (sister of Cindy) is a big puncher," he notes. "That would be a big fight.

"Natasha Jonas (who Katie beat in the London Olympics) is making progress and defends her WBA super featherweight title next month. She's also signed to Matchroom.

"Heather Hardy (21-0, 4 KOs) has a great back story. And Mikaela Mayer (6-0, 3 KOs) looks like a talent.

"Katie is working hard, and fighting in the ring is only part of it.She works harder outside the ring than any other boxer I've heard of."

"We'll keep on our path but there's not enough coming back from the others."

(Taylor v Connor, Live Sky Box Office tonight, 9.0 approx).

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