Taylor ‘not a long shot’ for Joshua undercard

Brian Peters has insisted that a potential world title date for Katie Taylor on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s anticipated world heavyweight rematch against Wladimir Klitschko “is not a long shot”.

Promoter Eddie Hearn claimed such plans were being made following the Bray woman’s sixth professional win - Texan opponent Jasmine Clarkson was retired after three rounds - on her US debut in Brooklyn on Saturday night - although it is not yet certain which of the four ‘major’ lightweight world champions Taylor could fight.

Joshua and Klitschko look likely to clash in Las Vegas in November following the former’s knockout win in their first Wembley fight last April. When asked if Taylor is likely to feature, her manager Peters yesterday said: “It’s not a long shot, it’s a possibility, but she’ll have one fight before it, which may be in England, it may be in America.”

Hearn suggested that the former Olympic champion’s penultimate fight before a world-title shot will take place at London’s York Hall on September 1, which appears to rule out weekend speculation that the Bray native could feature on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor’s August 26 bout.

“They’re talking about a show on September 1 in York Hall, so if that’s the case I’ll be back over to Ross [Enamait, trainer] quite soon,” said Taylor.

“I’d love to have a fight soon. I do love to stay busy, so if that’s the case I’ll be delighted.”

The 31-year-old flew back to Ireland yesterday, but she is expected to only spend a few days at home before returning to Enamait’s Connecticut training base.

Hearn’s latest suggestion appears to definitively rule out a world title shot in Dublin later this year. It is understood that Taylor’s team will instead plan a homecoming bout in the new year.

“Katie will be world champion before Christmas,” insisted Peters, with the manager hopeful that such success will make it easier to attract willing opponents for Taylor after over 20 fighters were approached to fight the five-time amateur world champion — all of whom apparently snubbed four-figure purses — before 22-year-old journeywoman Clarkson stepped up.

“We offered fighters more than what they got for world title fights and I’ve got to be careful here because it’s going to come back to bite us in the ass with opponents,” said Peters.

“But, let’s be honest, the same pool of fighters aren’t there as with the males.”

Taylor’s US debut was nearly scuppered due to a lack of willing foes, with Clarkson only secured as an opponent less than a week before Saturday’s bout, which took place on the undercard of Mikey Garcia’s light-welterweight win over Adrien Broner at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

“Fair play to this girl [Clarkson] because only for her, Katie probably wouldn’t have had a fight tonight, which is quite terrifying,” said Peters.

“Why are they professional fighters if they don’t want to fight Katie Taylor on a big stage, get a load of money, and a load of exposure?”

Taylor (now 6-0) made light work of Clarkson (4-9) to maintain her undefeated record, landing right crosses and left hooks at will against her inferior foe, with the Texan southpaw retired after three rounds of their scheduled eight-round bout.

“Hopefully this [showcase] will encourage the girls to take the fights,” said Taylor “It was a frustrating few weeks [waiting on an opponent].

“I respect that girl… if she didn’t take the fight, who knows? I might not have boxed, so I am very grateful for that.”

Undefeated Cork welterweight Noel Murphy (11-0) beat Julio Cesar Sanchez of the Dominican Republic on the same bill, with the New York-based Macroom native Murphy easing to a unanimous eight-round points win.

Meanwhile, Wales’ IBF world champion Lee Selby has encouraged Carl Frampton to abandon plans to reschedule his postponed bout against Andres Gutierrez in order to instead fight him.

Frampton was due to take on Gutierrez in Belfast last Saturday night before the Mexican suffered a freak accident in his hotel room, leading to a shock cancellation.

Barry McGuigan’s Cyclone Promotions have insisted they are working towards a rescheduled fight date, but Selby yesterday said: “He should come straight into a world title fight against me… We should do it in October or November.

“I am happy to fight him anywhere they can find a suitable venue.”

Frampton came in one pound over the 126lb weight limit for his scheduled WBC world-title eliminator against Gutierrez. Financial purse compensation for Gutierrez had been agreed for the bout to proceed, but the Mexican later suffered a bizarre mishap, losing two teeth after slipping in his shower.

Gutierrez claims he will be ready for a rescheduled November date, but Frampton yesterday said: “I have to fight again before Christmas and I want to go straight for the world title.”

The Belfast man also dismissed conspiracy theories over the fight cancellation as “fake news” after it emerged that he had resigned his position as a Cyclone director last week.


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