Katie Taylor and Claressa Shields have proven a willingness to take on all comers throughout their already storied careers.
Unfortunately for those pushing for a dream fight between the two, the reality of finding an agreeable weight at which to meet remains a bridge too far.
The possibility of such a fight is raised whenever either of the sport’s leading pound-for-pound queens has an upcoming fight. As much has been the case for Ireland’s Taylor (17-0, 6KOs) ahead of her otherwise dangerous undisputed lightweight championship title defense versus England’s Natasha Jonas (9-1-1, 7KOs).
“I’d say there is too much of a weight discrepancy there,” Taylor noted of a mentioned clash with Shields during a recent Zoom conference call to otherwise discuss her bout with Jonas. “It would be the equivalent of [former three-division titlist and current lightweight Vasiliy Lomachenko] getting in there with [IBF middleweight titlist Gennadiy] Golovkin, for example.”
Taylor fought at 132 pounds for the 2012 London and 2012 Rio Olympics and weighed 132 ¼ pounds for her Nov. 2016 pro debut. She has never weighed more than 139 ½ pounds in the pros, coming in her Nov. 2019 WBO junior welterweight title win over Christina Linardatou in a one-and-done affair in that weight division.
Shields (11-0, 2KOs) is a two-time Olympic Gold medalist, sweeping the 165-pound middleweight field in 2012 and 2016. She has done as much in the pros, weighing 167 pounds for her Nov. 2016 pro debut and winning titles at super middleweight, middleweight and junior middleweight. The 26-year-old Flint, Michigan native weighed 153 ½ and 153 ¼ pounds for her past two fights and has previously teased the possibility of getting as close to welterweight as necessary for the right opportunity.
It just won’t come against her pound-for-pound counterpart.
“I can’t really go above 142 pounds,” admits Taylor, whose win over Linardatou marks her only time weighing more than 135 pounds. “I think for a lot of people it would be a fantasy fight. I don’t think there is a realistic chance of that fight ever happening. I just look around my weight division and those fights are the fights I focus on. That’s it, really.”
Taylor will attempt the 10th defense of at least one lightweight title in her fight with Jonas. Saturday’s bout also marks her 3rd defense as an undisputed champion, claiming that status in a June 2019 majority decision win over Delfine Persoon in their first fight at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Taylor outpointed Persoon in a competitive but clear-cut rematch last August on the property of Matchroom Boxing headquarters in Brentwood, Essex, England.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox