Katie Taylor has hit out at her unwilling competition after struggling to find an opponent for her American debut tonight.
Former Olympic champion Taylor competes in her sixth pro bout tonight as she makes her first paid appearance in a Stateside ring on the undercard of Mikey Garcia’s light-welterweight showdown against Adrien Broner at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
The undefeated Bray woman (5-0) will take on American Jasmine Clarkson, who was only confirmed as the five-time amateur world champion’s opponent earlier this week.
A 22-year-old, Clarke carries a losing 4-8 record and is coming off the back of a points loss to her fellow Texan Kimberly Connor earlier this month.
Taylor has lashed out at her unwilling competition as it is believed that up to 20 fighters were approached to take the Brooklyn fight before Clarkson agreed to the eight-rounder.
Taylor said: “If you turn down those opportunities and those fights, you shouldn’t really call yourself a professional boxer because what are they in the sport for?
“I assume everyone has the same mindset and that they want to box the best and box on these big shows, but unfortunately that’s not the case.
“This girl is the only one who would take the fight and she is to be respected because of that. What can I do if no-one else takes it? These girls need to step up to the plate and you’d think they’d be raring to go for a big fight and a big opportunity.”
It is believed that Connor (13-3-2) is among a number of boxers to have turned down offers to fight Taylor, while the likes of Brooklyn-based Melissa St Vil (9-2-4) and ‘Bolivian Queen’ Jennifer Salinas (20-4) are other fighters with winning records understood to have rebuffed the opportunity.
Taylor will be expected to easily overcome Clarkson, despite the fact that the Texan has never been stopped, but tonight’s Brooklyn date represents a big opportunity for the former amateur star as she attempts to break into the American market with US broadcasters Showtime set to stream the bill on their website Stateside, while Sky Sports will have delayed coverage sometime after 1am tonight.
“I hope this is just the start of big shows over here for me,” said Taylor.
Undefeated Cork welterweight Noel Murphy (10-0) also features on the bill, taking on Julio Cesar Sanchez.
While Dominican Sanchez carries an 11-0 record, he has yet to take on an opponent with a winning record and 23-year-old Murphy — a Macroom native based in Woodlawn — will be fancied to record his 11th win.
TV: Sky Sports Main Event/Action from 1am.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved