By Jake Donovan
News of Katie Taylor returning to the United States on St. Patrick’s Day weekend has Irish eyes smiling—perhaps none wider than those of Taylor herself.
A major goal for the unbeaten 32-year old from Ireland is to become within her next two fights the unbeaten, undisputed lightweight champion. She takes a major step in that direction in her next bout, a March 15 clash with fellow undefeated titlist Rose Valente which will air live on DAZN from Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
“It’s brilliant. As soon as I won the WBA title my next goal was to unify the lightweight division,” Taylor (12-0, 7KOs) told BoxingScene.com of her desire to collect all of the major hardware at 135 pounds. “I know that Eddie has been working hard to make these fights so when he texted to say that Volante had signed the contract for March, I was delighted.”
Taylor has held at least one major title since her 7th pro fight, when she scored a one-sided 10-round decision over Anahi Esther Sanchez to claim the World Boxing Association (WBA) title. Their Oct. ’17 clash came less than a full year into the pro career of Taylor, a two-time Olympian for Ireland who captured a Gold medal during the 2012 London Olympics.
Following the bitter taste of an early exit in the 2016 Rio Olympics, it was agreed by her team that little time would be wasted in proving herself in the pro ranks. By her 9th pro fight, Taylor became a unified titlist, dethroning Victoria Bustos last April to add the International Boxing Federation (IBF) lightweight strap to her collection.
For the third time in 18 months, Taylor has the opportunity to add another belt around her waist when she faces Brazil’s Volante (14-0, 8KOs), who currently holds the World Boxing Organization (WBO) title. The fight comes just three months after turning away longtime amateur rival and previously unbeaten 130-pound titlist Eva Wahlstrom last December.
“We really wanted either Volante or the WBC champion (Belgium’s Delfine) Persoon for this fight and Eddie has delivered,” Brian Peters, Taylor’s manager told BoxingScene.com. “Katie wants to unify the lightweight division as quickly as possible and then wants to move straight on to fights with the likes of Amanda Serrano and Cecilia Braekhus.”
Plans are already in place for at least one superfight from that hit list to take place later this year. Serrano recently signed a three-fight co-promotional pact with Hearn to appear on DAZN, which began with her adding to her own history in collecting a title in a record-surpassing 7th weight division.
A key component of her DAZN deal was securing a coveted showdown by year’s end with Taylor, who already has her sights set on another major fight in between—without losing fous on the current task at hand.
“It’s great to have the opportunity to win another belt and I’d love to get my hands on all four by the summer,” Taylor insists.