‘Katie’s, breaking so much ground, she’s a superstar, regardless of gender’

‘Katie’s, breaking so much ground, she’s a superstar, regardless of gender’

Katie Taylor could be set to head up boxing’s first all-female professional boxing card, according to promoter Eddie Hearn.

The Matchroom chief says American broadcaster DAZN are targeting International Women’s Day for such an event with the newly-crowned dual-weight world champion earmarked as its star attraction.

“Given we’re in November, we’re looking at Springtime for Katie’s return anyway”, projected Hearn in the wake of Saturday’s win over Christina Linardatou.

“DAZN are all on board with Katie, and they’re looking at International Women’s Day which is the weekend of March 7, over a week before St Patrick’s Day!

They want to run an all-female card with Katie headlining. Katie is the boss, though, she and Brian [Peters, manager] will tell me what route they want to go next, there are so many options.

A unification with former foe and now fellow 140lb stakeholder Jess McCaskill could well be among them, though marquee match-ups against pound-for-pound stars Amanda Serrano and Cecilia Braekhus also remain on the radar.

A prospective sequel to June’s undisputed lightweight clash versus Delfine Persoon is another on the docket for Hearn, with the Londoner suggesting Taylor’s star has risen to a point where a pay-per-view event seems a possibility for 2020.

“She’s really tapped into the market here, captured the imagination. I’ve never seen so many young women at a boxing event. It was unbelievable walking out there, seeing hundreds of them. And they’re all there for Katie. It’s amazing.

“Other fighters are just bouncing off that too. Terri Harper, who fought on the undercard, she had given up boxing. She was a top young amateur who quit because she didn’t see any opportunities.

‘Katie’s, breaking so much ground, she’s a superstar, regardless of gender’

“Then Katie comes through, and she thinks: ‘I can do that now’. She wouldn’t be here without Katie Taylor, and now Terri has a world title fight of her own.

This is not about men’s boxing, women’s boxing, it doesn’t matter. If you can fight, you can fight. And the fact that Katie’s doing it, breaking so much ground, she’s a superstar, regardless of gender.

“All these people, including Linardatou, made life-changing money through fighting Katie Taylor. That’s wonderful for the sport.”

Disgruntled Linardatou, for her part, remains altogether less enthused in the wake of last weekend’s card in Manchester, the now dethroned titlist voicing displeasure regarding the final result. Though the ringside consensus was that Taylor was an unquestionably worthy winner, the Dominican-born 31-year-old railed against the unanimous decision verdict.

“I feel like I won the fight, I feel that they are protecting her”, she claimed. “This is not fair, for all the fighters. People see, people know. If [Taylor] respects herself, she should give a rematch to me, to Persoon. They can’t say she is undisputed, that she is champion in two weights. I’m sorry, she is your girl, but this is the truth, this is the reality.”

Manager Brian Cohen, a colourful fixture in the pre-fight pageantry, rowed in behind his charge.

“What’s Katie Taylor’s game? Bing, bing, bing, bounce around the ring. Christina made the fight; any blind person can see it. She chased her around the ring all night.

Look at her face, she looks like she got beat with a bag of nickels.

While the Athens-based boxer certainly threw some big hits on Saturday, her reckless approach likely proved her undoing, Taylor’s reflexive tactics and cleaner punching duly winning favour with the judges.

‘Katie’s, breaking so much ground, she’s a superstar, regardless of gender’

“My mistake was I was trying to take her head off” conceded Linardatou. “I wanted to knock her out because I knew I would have to do that.

“All the girls who fight her know they have to do that. Why? She is not real. She can say whatever she likes, but this is the reality.”

In any event, Taylor’s patent superiority in Manchester means her opponent’s somewhat errant protestations can be taken with more than a grain of salt.

Not that the Bray native has ever paid such verbal sparring much heed, the 33-year-old having long since plumped to do most of her talking in the ring.

“I boxed beautifully on the outside”, declared Taylor. “I chose to box smart instead of getting stuck into a fight.

“I dug deep against Persoon and came out with the victory. I’m now a two-weight world champion. For now, I’m going to enjoy this victory and leave the match-making to my team.”

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