(OCT 24) Ireland’s London
2012 Olympic Gold medallist and five times World Champion Katie
Taylor (31) is preparing for her first tilt at a World
Professional Lightweight title when she meets tough Argentinian
and current WBA champion Anahi Esther Sanchez (26) at the
Principality Stadium in Cardiff on Saturday night.
The week has started well for the ‘Bray Bomber’ as she has just
been voted Ireland’s ‘Most admired sports personality, male or
female, according to the respected sponsorship advisers ONSIDE
Ireland. A year ago she was joint first with former Irish Rugby
Captain, Brian O’Driscoll.
The latter is now third placed behind MMA champion, Conor
McGregor, whose own popularity has grown since that ‘Notorious’
high profile ‘boxing’ bout against Floyd Mayweather.
John Trainor, Chief Executive of ONSIDE told the ‘Irish
"Stars like Conor McGregor and Katie Taylor, who were central to
significant ambassadorial programmes with major brands like
Budweiser, Beats and JD Sports in 2017, can elevate their
personal and their sponsor's brands to game-changing new highs
through smart deals next year."
That was a poll of all sponsors and their Executives be they
male or female. In terms of Irish sports stars most admired by
men, there was a three-way tie between Taylor, McGregor and
Irish soccer Assistant Manager Roy Keane, who along with Martin
O’Neill, earlier this month helped Ireland qualify for the 2018
World Cup qualifier play-offs against Denmark in November.
Those are two ties that Taylor will be following with great
interest having played many times for the Irish women’s teams in
Club and International matches until her retirement from the
sport in 2011.
Oddly enough there has been little media coverage in Ireland
until now for the Taylor vs Sanchez bout and much criticism of
that fact, in Social Media posts. There are though many reasons
why that is so.
Firstly publicity of Taylor’s Pro bouts is not handled by the
excellent IABA P.R.O Bernard O’Neill who covered her many
‘amateur’ successes over the years but also she is now based in
the United States for much of the year so not as easy to track
Equally her Dad – and former coach - Pete is no longer involved
with his daughter’s pro career and he was always ready with a
‘quotable quote’. There will though be a sizeable Irish
following in the Crowd in Cardiff plus lots of support from
British fans as she had at the Olympics in London and as Pete
comes from Leeds.
Taylor’s profile at home though will rise during the week when
Matchroom – her promoters – and Eddie Hearn meet the Media in
Cardiff with Taylor herself.. Her Manager Brian Peters will also
be ‘swinging into action’ especially via Twitter.
How does the Irish woman view the fight?
“Since the fight was announced the weeks have flown by,” said
Taylor. “There’s an element of nerves for every fight. I’ve had
the opportunity to box on big shows before but this fight
without a doubt is going to be the biggest of my career and open
more doors in the future. I cannot let this chance slip which
brings pressure but it’s the type of fights I want.
“I train for every fight like it’s a World title fight. The
great thing about this one is I’ve had a much longer camp. The
last couple have been so close together. I’ve had a good few
months preparing for this one.
“When we first sat down with Eddie he wanted us to fight for a
World title within a year and he’s stayed true to his word and
delivered. It’s an honour to be fighting for the WBA Title. I’m
delighted with the progression of my pro career to date.
“It’s my first time at Principality Stadium – what a stage to be
fighting on. Wembley Stadium was good preparation for this and I
do love an Anthony Joshua undercard. This is more than a dream
Speaking to Sky Sports News Taylor said:
"Without a doubt. This opponent Sanchez is very, very
"She has a great record as well. She's had more world title
fights than I've had fights really in the pro game so it is
going to be a very tough challenge."
How does promoter Eddie Hearn see the fight – and Taylor’s
"She's got a tough fight against a two-weight world champion,
and you'd expect her to win, but it's a level she hasn't really
boxed at before," Hearn told Independent.ie.
"There's a lot of pressure but it's her chance to make history
and become a world champion. I expect her to win on Saturday and
I'd like to try and get her out and have a defence before the
end of the year."
Should she win Saturday where would she fight again? Dublin? Or
"She likes to box in England, she'd love to box in Ireland, she
likes to box in America, and America is somewhere that we might
go in December for a quick fight but I think she's in a good
"There's a couple of American girls calling her name out,
getting quite aggressive, which is nice, and the plan would be
to then unify the title potentially in Dublin in the Spring."
Taylor’s clash with Sanchez is part of a huge night of action in
Cardiff where Joshua defends his World Heavyweight titles
against Carlos Takam, the Londoner’s bitter foe Dillian Whyte
aims to take a giant step to his first World title shot by
facing Robert Helenius for the WBC Silver strap and Kal Yafai
defends his WBA World Super-Flyweight title against Japanese
mandatory challenger Sho Ishida.
Finally, there is soon to be a new Documentary on Katie Taylor
as the ‘Irish Times’ recently reported:
“A new RTÉ drama called Rare Earth and a documentary on boxer
Katie Taylor’s move to turn professional are among the latest
projects to receive public funding in the Broadcasting Authority
of Ireland’s Sound and Vision scheme.
Ross Whitaker Enterprises, trading as True Films, was awarded
€100,000 toward the production of Comeback, an RTÉ One
documentary that follows Olympic Gold medallist Taylor as she
begins her professional career”.
Saturday’s fight will be shown LIVE in UK and Ireland on Sky
Sports Box Office and will also be available through Sky via