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Katie Taylor Aims For 'Big 2018' - To Unify Lightweight Division

Katie Taylor is determined to make the first defence of her WBA lightweight title so she can ensure a "big 2018" and pursue her ambition of unifying the division.

The 31-year-old, from Ireland, meets America's Jessica McCaskill at London's York Hall, having won her first professional title in October on the undercard of Anthony Joshua's defeat of Carlos Takam.

She also tops a professional bill for the first time in her eighth fight, following a decorated amateur career, and told reporters at a London press conference: "My dream is to unify the division.

taylor-mccaskill (7)

"I'm not looking past Wednesday, my aim is to win to set me up nicely for a big, big year in 2018.

"I didn't think it was going to happen this quickly that I would headline a card.

"This is the sort of platform I've always wanted where I headline my own show. It's such a wonderful card to be boxing on in such an historic venue. I really can't wait."

McCaskill, 33 and from Chicago, regardless insists she has discovered "mistakes" in the highly-respected champion's make-up.

"A lot of the good things you see about Katie Taylor are in highlights," she said. "If you watch the actual fight there is a lot of mistakes.

"There are opportunities there and I intend on taking advantage of that."

Conor Benn and Josh Kelly star on a huge night of action in east London. Jake Ball and Miles Shinkwin clash for the WBA Continental Light-Heavyweight title.

“Adam Booth and Eddie Hearn tell me what to do - I just keep working hard,” said Kelly. “I don't call people out I just do my job in the ring and graft in the gym. I've been alongside Ryan Burnett in the gym and I've seen what needs to be done to reach the top and I'm ready to put that work in.

“People are talking about European and World titles for me and I'm only 4-0 and just 23 years old, there's plenty of time but I'm excited about where we're going."

Team GB Rio Olympians Joe Cordina and Lawrence Okolie look to end their first term in the paid ranks on a high and Birmingham’s Gamal Yafai and young Essex talents Felix Cash and Ted Cheeseman also taste action.

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