Taylor's possibilities endless, says Hearn despite opponent's anger
Katie Taylor's post-fight press conference was winding down in an anteroom in the bowels of the Manchester Arena late on Saturday night when her vanquished opponent Christina Linardatou, trainer Manalis Lavadkis and Philadelphia-based manager Brian Cohen came through a door at the back of the room.
They hadn't been expected and Linardatou's thunderous facial expression suggested that she hadn't come to offer her successor as WBO super-lightweight champion her personal congratulations.
At the top table, the ebullient Eddie Hearn, chief executive of Matchroom, flanked to his left by Taylor and her trainer Ross Enamait and on his right by Taylor's manager Brian Peters, was waving lyrically. Peters whispered to him that the Linardatou party were in the room.
Hearn invited Linardatou to join the Taylor party at the top table. She had scarcely sat down when she launched into a tirade.
"Of course, I am disappointed. Everybody saw what happened," she said. Peters had heard enough and within seconds the entire Taylor party were heading for the exits.
Though they passed within inches of each other, Taylor and Linardatou scarcely exchanged a glance.
In the eyes of the three ringside judges, Guistino di Giovanni, Stephen Nicolo and Marcus McDonnell, as well as the majority of the estimated 11,000 crowd, Taylor had out-boxed the Greek fighter with a masterful tactical performance.
But Cohen rapped: "What is Katie Taylor's game? Bing, bing, bing, dance around the ring. This girl here (Linardatou) made the fight. Any person could see it. It is not boxing.
"It's called running. There is no ring generalship. She runs around the ring the whole fight, that's not boxing, that's running."
One suspects, however, that Taylor slept far more soundly than in the wake of her unification clash against Delfine Persoon in Madison Square Garden in June. There was genuine doubt about the validity of that win but none on this occasion. According to Hearn, Taylor's career possibilities are now endless. His personal preference is for her to become the undisputed super-lightweight champion.
Next up for the Bray fighter is likely to be a top-of-the-bill appearance on March 7 in Madison Square Garden to mark International Women's Day against seven-weight world champion Amanda Serrano.