Katie Taylor claims she will set her sights on unifying world titles in her lightweight division if she wins the WBA crown next month,
Promoter Eddie Hearn this week confirmed that Bray native Taylor will challenge Argentina’s Anahi Esther Sanchez for the female world 135lb belt on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight title defence against Kubrat Pulev in Cardiff on October 28.
Having claimed five world gold medals during a glittering amateur career, undefeated 31-year-old Taylor (6-0) will aim to add a professional world title to her impressive CV when she takes on two-weight champion Sanchez (17-2) in just her seventh paid bout.
“I’m not going to let this opportunity slip because this is the start of some really big fights for me in the future, I think. Once I have that belt I can unify the other (lightweight) belts and it’s only going to get bigger and bigger from here,” said the London 2012 gold medallist, who believes a pro world title will rank alongside her Olympic success.
“Obviously as an amateur boxer all you dream of is becoming an Olympic champion and when you turn pro all you dream of is becoming a world champion and unifying the belts, so this is definitely going to be up there,” added Taylor.
Manager Brian Peters has claimed that 28-year-old Sanchez – who holds one of the four widely-recognised ‘major’ world titles – was the only champion willing to fight Taylor, despite the fact that the Buenos Aires native only claimed the WBA belt last weekend with a stoppage victory over compatriot Cecilia Sofia Mena.
“It’s definitely a nice relief,” said Taylor on the match-up being confirmed after weeks of speculation. “I knew I had a chance of boxing the winner of that [Sanchez-Mena] fight, but I didn’t know if it would be too quick a turnover for the winner to box in Cardiff, so it’s great that the fight has been nailed down.
“I’m very excited obviously and ever since I turned pro all I thought about was these world-title fights, so I’m over the moon,” added the Irishwoman, speaking during a break from her busy training schedule at the Connecticut base of coach Ross Enamait.
“I’m training away and everything’s going well,” said Taylor. “I’ve been here for the last six or seven weeks now…. I’m feeling good and strong and we’re just working towards the fight,” added the Bray native, who expects a tough challenge from Sanchez.
The Argentine has claimed world titles at lightweight and super-feather – as well an interim strap at feather – while she has only suffered two defeats in 19 outings, although both of those losses came in her only fights outside of her homeland.
“I haven’t really seen much of her, just since the fight was made,” said Taylor. “I knew she was boxing for the title last weekend and that I’d have a chance to box the winner of those two girls, so I watched a bit of that fight.
“She is a good opponent, she’s got a great record – a two-weight world champion – so she’s definitely to be respected,” added Taylor.