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Opponent Confirmed For Katie Taylor’s First World Title Defence

Dublin , Ireland - 31 October 2017; WBA World Lightweight Champion Katie Taylor with her belt during a press conference at the Irish Film Institute, in Temple Bar, Dublin. (Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Last month, Katie Taylor said that she was eager to get into the ring with trash-talking American boxer Jessica McCaskill.

“I’m looking forward to the day I step into the ring with Jessica, seriously,” the Bray boxer told the42.ie“She hasn’t left me alone for the last year!”

Well, Taylor won’t have to wait much longer, as her promoters, Matchroom Boxing, today confirmed that the 2012 Olympic gold medalist will make the first defence of her newly acquired WBA lightweight title against McCaskill in the headline attraction of a show at the York Hall in London on Wednesday December 13th.

The announcement doesn’t come as a major shock, as all signs have been pointing toward McCaskill ever since Taylor scooped the title with a points win over tough Argentine Anahi Esther Sanchez on the undercard of Joshua vs. Takam at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff on October 28th. 

“If she’s as relentless in the ring as she is on social media it should be a great fight,” Taylor said in the wake of the announcement. “I’m more than happy to give her the opportunity and I certainly won’t be avoiding anyone as a champion.

“I truly believe that this is only the start of things for me. I want all the belts and the biggest possible fights over the next few years.”

“Trash talking’s not really my thing but she seems to be happy to talk enough for the both of us anyway,” added Katie. “Maybe it’s something she feels she has to do for her own confidence but none of that stuff matters once the first bell rings. I’m happy to let my boxing do the talking then and that’s definitely where I express myself best.”

McCaskill, however, was remarkably respectful of Taylor, while at the same time remaining outwardly confident.

“I have a lot of respect for this sport and for Katie Taylor, but I will be bringing that belt and respect back with me,” said the Chicago native. “I want to be known as the number one in America and of course the World title is definitely the goal.”

The Taylor fight represents a big step up in class for the 33-year-old McCaskill, who has fought mainly inexperienced and mediocre opposition since turning professional with a TKO victory in August of 2015. She suffered a setback in just her second fight in the paid ranks, dropping a split decision to Katonya Fisher – who was making her professional debut. Since then, however, she has reeled off four straight wins, with two stoppages. In her most recent outing, ‘CasKILLA’ stopped the 6-2 Natalie Brown in the second round. The American has never been beyond the sixth round in her pro career, nor has she ever competed outside her homeland.

Taylor, who turned pro just last November, has already notched seven wins without suffering a defeat and has accounted for four opponents within the scheduled distance. In her last fight, the title-winning effort against Sanchez, Taylor went the ten-round championship distance for the first time and seemed to navigate it comfortably while maintaining her trademark high tempo.

About Seamus Raftery

Seamus Raftery
Seamus is the Lead MMA Writer at Pundit Arena and you can reach him via [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @SeamusRaftery

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