'A chance to make even more history': Katie Taylor set for April return

Katie Taylor has set her sights on becoming the first Irish boxer to win world titles at three weights
'A chance to make even more history': Katie Taylor set for April return

Katie Taylor following her Undisputed Female Lightweight Championship bout victory over Miriam Gutierrez at SSE Wembley Arena in November. Picture: Sportsfile

Katie Taylor is set to return on April 24 before attempting to make history by winning a world title in a third weight class this summer.

The 34-year-old has kept busy since the start of the pandemic and boxed twice during 2020, beating Delfine Persoon in August and then Miriam Gutierrez in November as she took her professional record to 17-0.

Now the undisputed lightweight champion, who also won a world title up at light welterweight when she beat Christina Linardatou in November 2019, has set her sights on becoming the first Irish boxer to win world titles at three weights.

Taylor’s promoter Eddie Hearn has confirmed that she is set to put her WBC, IBF, WBA and WBO belts on the line as part of a big pay-per-view show which has been pencilled in for April 24 in London.

Should she come through unscathed, the plan is for Taylor to challenge the winner of Jessica McCaskill’s world title rematch against Cecilia Braekhus for the unified welterweight title in either June or July in a potential outdoor show.

Hearn said: “The plan is for Katie to box on a show at the end of April and assuming all goes well she will box again in June or July against the winner of McCaskill-Braekhus.

“I seem to say it every year but this one is a really big one for her because she has that chance to make even more history.

“Obviously Braekhus has been on the radar for some time but McCaskill went and upset the applecart by beating her last year — that’s boxing.

“Those two are fighting again next month with it all on the line and we believe whoever wins that will defend the welterweight belts against Katie in the summer.”

McCaskill pulled off one of the biggest upsets of 2020 when she beat Braekhus, who was vying to beat Joe Louis’ record of 25 straight world title defences during her 11-year reign as champion.

Taylor, however, has already beaten McCaskill back in 2017 at the York Hall in London so will be confident of a second win over the Chicago native should she beat Braekhus for a second time when they meet in Dallas on March 13.

But first the Bray star may face a different rematch in the form of Liverpool’s Natasha Jonas on April 24.

The pair tangled at the London 2012 Olympics in a quarter-final bout which famously registered the loudest noise of any event at the entire Games.

Much of that was down to the huge travelling support for Taylor who won 26-15 as part of her surge to Olympic gold.

Jonas, now 36, last boxed in August when she drew with the WBC super-featherweight champion Terri Harper in what was her first challenge for a world title.

A rematch has been touted but now the English southpaw could be in line for a crack at Taylor’s four lightweight belts instead.

Hearn said: “We like the Jonas fight and that one is a possibility. We are hoping to announce an opponent and confirm the date as soon as we can.”

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