TALKS are in progress to see if Ireland’s star amateur, Katie Taylor can box on the undercard of Andy Lee’s world middleweight title fight with Billy Joe Saunders at Thomond Park on September 19.
Speaking to Boxing News, Peter Taylor, Katie’s trainer and father, said, “She could possibly be boxing on that, we’re just waiting for confirmation from AIBA [the international governing body].
“It would be brilliant. She boxed on the Bernard Dunne show before and she got a great reception to fight just before Bernard. There were 10,000 people there. She was on the same team as [Andy Lee] when he was an amateur and we know Andy really well. To box on that show would be unbelievable. It would be a great showcase for female boxing and amateur boxing as well.”
Frank Warren, who will co-promote the show with Adam Booth, is no supporter of female boxing though he would not oppose the move. He did however make his unease clear at a press conference today. “I’m entitled to my opinion,” he said. “Me personally, it’s not for me.” Billy Joe shared Warren’s sentiments but Andy Lee cheerfully insisted, “I’m championing women’s boxing and I’m championing equal rights.”
AIBA, which has launched pro style competitions of its own, tends to keep its own events separate from traditional professional boxing. Peter Taylor believes they will start to accommodate female boxers in their pro style formats. “There’s definitely going to be WSB [World Series Boxing] for females and I think the headgear’s coming off as well, which is going to be exciting for the girls,” he told Boxing News. “They’re supposed to be on par with the men’s boxing… If it’s off for the boys for medical reasons it obviously has to be off for the girls for medical reasons.”
He continued, “I think she’ll consider her pro options [after the next Olympics]. I don’t think there’s the strength in depth there really in the pros at the moment. I think all the top female boxers are still amateur. I think when the competition gets stronger, I think if it does get stronger after Rio, I think she would consider going pro then. At the moment amateur boxing’s much stronger than professional women’s boxing.
“I think she wants to be recognized as the best female boxer of all-time. That alone just motivates her.”