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Eye injury stalls Taylor's plans for first title defence

 

By Sean McGoldrick

Katie Taylor's plans to defend her WBA World lightweight title in Chicago in seven weeks' time have been put on hold due of the eye injury sustained during her gruelling victory over Anahi Esther Sanchez in Cardiff on Saturday night.

Taylor had three stitches inserted in the wound over her right eye after the contest in Cardiff's Principality Stadium.

As a result she will be unable to spar for a number of weeks and couldn't risk boxing again on the planned December 16 card, which would have been beamed live across the US via the Showtime channel.

Thirty-three-year old Jessica McCaskill, who is a native of Chicago, was being lined up as Taylor's opponent for a top of the bill showdown in the city's UIC Pavilion, which has hosted five of the American's six professional fights.

Though McCaskill lost one of those fights she has 'called out' Taylor and the new champion wants to respond. "Yeah, why not fight her," said Taylor, though she did express a preference to unify the lightweight belts.

Belgian native Defline Persoon, who defends her WBC lightweight belt on Saturday week and has lost just one of their 39 contests, would be an obvious opponent for the Bray pugilist. She is now the only lightweight rated higher than Taylor in the BoxRec world rankings.

But Taylor's promoters Matchroom and her Irish manager Brian Peters are more interested in contests against higher profile boxers than the low profile Persoon.

McCaskill, Natasha Jonas, who Taylor beat in a memorable bronze medal fight at the London Olympics in 2012, Rio Olympian Makaela Mayer from the US and Chantelle Cameron, who is managed by Barry McGuigan, are all probable future opponents for the new champion.

"Katie will get around of them all, have no doubt about it. They will all get their chance," said Peters who added that it will now be more straight forward to secure opponents for Taylor after her weekend world title win.

Taylor, though, will now almost certainly return to the ring in the spring on the same bill as Anthony Joshua's next defence of his World heavyweight belts which is likely to be against either American Deontay Wilder or Joseph Parker from New Zealand.

In the event of Joshua facing the latter, who is the WBO champion, the fight will probably be in April in Wembley, whereas a showdown against Wilder is more likely to be in Las Vegas in February.

It is unlikely that Taylor will fight in Dublin until mid-2018 at the earliest.

Belfast Telegraph

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