Eager Katie Taylor targets first world title in pro ranks

Katie Taylor is eagerly anticipating her first world professional title fight against Argentina’s Anahi Esther Sanchez, according to manager Brian Peters, who claims the WBA belt holder was the only champion willing to fight the Bray woman in Cardiff next month.

Promoter Eddie Hearn yesterday confirmed that former Olympic champion Taylor will challenge Sanchez for the WBA world female lightweight belt on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s world heavyweight title defence against Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev at the Millennium/Principality Stadium on October 28.

While Hearn had previously suggested Taylor’s first title tilt would take place in Dublin, Peters admitted that the Cardiff title date means a homecoming bout will definitively be delayed until early next year.

Having built an undefeated 6-0 record since turning professional last November, Ireland’s five-time world amateur champion now has the chance to claim a world pro strap less than 11 months after her paid bow.

Sanchez carries a record of 17-2, having previously claimed world belts at featherweight and super-feather, with both of her losses coming in world-title contests. 

The Buenos Aires native defeated compatriot Cecilia Sofia Mena in six rounds last Saturday night to claim the WBA title — one of four ‘major’ world belts — in a rescheduled bout held in San Miguel.

“I watched that fight live the other night,” said Peters. “This is a challenge Katie will relish.

“We’ve had a difficulty getting opponents, but this is a very good fighter, a very experienced fighter and exactly what we’re looking for — a two-weight world champion — and we’re really looking forward to it.”

“This would’ve been unheard of even three years ago — a woman fighting for a world title so high up on a big show on an Anthony Joshua card in front of 80,000 people,” said Peters.

Both Hearn and Peters were keen to book Taylor’s title tilt on Joshua’s undercard to increase her international profile, with the move ending hopes of a homecoming date for the Bray woman in 2017.

“We’ve a few plans, but more than likely, Katie will be out before Christmas in America. When she’ll fight in Ireland depends on how we get on with the next few fights,” said Peters.

“I hate saying these things because they change all the time, but within 18 months [from her debut] she will have fought in Ireland.

“But she’s got to win this next fight and win the title impressively.”

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