With near perfect timing, Katie Taylor was addressing a media query relating to her plans for a world-title shot when a top US TV executive arrived to offer his congratulations.
The Bray woman had just defeated Germany’s Nina Meinke moments earlier, with a seventh-round stoppage sealing her fifth pro win in their world-title eliminator support bout on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s sensational knockout of Wladimir Klitschko.
Peter Nelson, executive vice-president of sports at HBO, tracked down Taylor during her post-fight media duties as it is understood his network and US broadcast rivals Showtime are both keen on winning the battle for the 30-year-old’s TV rights when she makes her US fight debut this summer.
That next ring outing looks likely to be an undercard slot on in support of the world light-heavyweight rematch between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev on June 17 should her Sky TV backers secure UK/Irish broadcast rights to the HBO bill.
And a US fight date remains one of the few boxes to tick before Team Taylor aim for ‘the big one’ as a Vegas date could well be her penultimate fight before a homecoming world-title shot later in the year.
What a show! Incredible to be part of boxing history last night. A special night. Thanks to everyone for the support. pic.twitter.com/mEatGTo3mq— Katie Taylor (@KatieTaylor) April 30, 2017
“I do feel ready, but at the same time I probably would prefer to have one or two more 10-rounders under my belt,” said Taylor on the timing of her now seemingly inevitable title challenge, with manager Brian Peters insisting that a November date in Dublin is the “ideal plan”.
“If I am on the Ward- Kovalev bill on June 17, I’ll just take a week off or so and then get back into training for that,” continued the 30-year-old.
“If that’s not the case then I’ll definitely take a bit of a longer break because I can’t obviously keep going with this schedule if I’m fighting in 10-rounders.”
Her reference to 10-rounders came after her first fight scheduled for that distance — the standard length of female championship bouts — finished early last Saturday night. Victory over the previously undefeated Meinke at Wembley Stadium helped Taylor claim her first pro belt, the WBA female lightweight inter-continental title.
And the fact that Taylor’s support bout was also a world-title eliminator means she is well primed for a big homecoming bout at the 3Arena in October or November. She admitted: “Obviously it would be a dream to box for a world title in Dublin or somewhere at home, but I’ll leave that stuff up to the likes of Brian and Eddie [Hearn, promoter].”
Saturday’s bout did not exert Taylor too much.While the 23-year-old Meinke was a decent opponent, she was reluctant to engage and her cagey southpaw style made for an awkward fight at times. The German picked up a cut — seemingly from an accidental clash of heads — while her face was also badly marked up by the busy right hand of Taylor. Referee Howard Foster called a halt at 57 seconds of the seventh round.
“There’s always improvements to be made,” said Taylor. “The most important thing is I won the fight.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved