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It's on: Katie Taylor to defend world title versus American champ McCaskill next month

Journal.ie logo Journal.ie 14/11/2017 Gavan Casey
a woman wearing a hat © Provided by Journal Media Limited

KATIE TAYLOR WILL make the first defence of her WBA World lightweight title versus American puncher Jessica McCaskill in London’s York Hall on Wednesday 13 December.

The Bray woman, five times a world champion as an amateur, won her first professional world honours a fortnight ago in Cardiff following a compelling if one-sided bout with Argentina’s Anahi Sanchez.

Next month’s fight, originally mooted for Friday 15 December but now confirmed for two days beforehand, will be the first women’s fight ever to officially headline a bill live on Sky Sports.

‘CasKILLA’, who hails from Chicago, is the current ABO American champion and sports a record of 5-1(3KOs) to Taylor’s 7-0(4KOs).

person in a newspaper © Sky Sports

The 33-year-old and her team have demanded a fight with Taylor since the latter turned professional in late 2016, with manager Rick Ramos by suggesting her prospective opponents come out of hiding.

Taylor’s own manager Brian Peters, along with promoter Eddie Hearn, indicated McCaskill would subsequently be the preferred opponent for Taylor’s first defence of her title at a recent press conference in Dublin.

Last Friday week, speaking on what was then still merely a potential world title clash, “I definitely think that this fight is a fight that Katie will never have seen before. I think there’ll be a little surprise – I think a lot of people are surprised by the way that I fight, and the outcome.

“Katie Taylor seems like a very respectable girl, so I think we can do this in a high-fashion kind of way. We can do it in a way that’s respectable for the sport, and not tear it down.

“I feel like there are things out there that make a mockery of female boxing, and all of the people who have opinions that female boxing is not entertaining, or that it’s a waste of time – it gives them something to feed on. I just want to cancel that out as much as possible, as well as furthering my career at a high standard.”

She also told Taylor to “heal up so we can get to it,” referring to a cut accrued by the former Olympic champion in victory over Sanchez, which

Taylor responded to McCaskill’s comments by telling The42: “Oh, well that’s great that she said that, yeah.

“To be honest, that kind of thing – what she or anyone is going to say – wouldn’t really cross my mind. My mindset for this fight would be the same as for any other fight, really. I wouldn’t really think too much about the press conferences or what she’s going to say.

I’m not going to talk any trash. I can’t! I’m really, really bad at trash-talking – it’s just not in me at all. If she wants to talk all that, I’m just going to let her, you know? She’ll definitely win that battle – the trash-talking – but it’s what happens in the ring, who wins in the ring that counts.

Taylor is tentatively scheduled to fight in Dublin should she see of McCaskill’s challenge in London next month, but is likely to return to America for a ninth professional fight in early spring before headlining at either Dublin’s 3Arena or the RDS in March or April.

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