Katie Taylor promises that there is no concern of a crash after the emotional high she experienced in her previous and unforgettable in-ring performance.
The long-reigning undisputed welterweight queen is set for her next title defenses, as she faces Argentina’s Karen Elizabeth Carabajal. The bout takes place this Saturday atop a DAZN telecast from OVO Arena Wembley, the same venue which hosted the 2016 pro debut of Ireland’s Taylor (21-0, 6KOs) following her second Olympic tour.
The feeling isn’t quite the same as the everlasting memories that came from her epic superfight with Amanda Serrano this past April 30 at Madison Square Garden, but the only real motivation needed is for what will take place in the ring.
“It’s not difficult for me to stay motivated, to be quite honest,” Taylor told BoxingScene.com. “Every ring is the same once the bell rings. The same applies to Wembley, even. This is where I made my debut. The last six years have flown by for me. I’m looking forward to stepping back in there where it all started. It’s been an amazing pro journey.”
It will be nearly impossible for Taylor (21-0, 6KOs) to match the energy that came with the transcending event in New York City. Everything surrounding Taylor-Serrano somehow surpassed exceedingly high expectations, from the attention garnered, to the sold-out crowd and $1,450,180.60 live gate down to two pound-for-pound entrants delivering what remains the leading candidate for 2022 Fight of the Year, regardless of gender.
Taylor prevailed by split decision to lodge her thirteenth overall defense of at least one lightweight belt, and fifth as undisputed champion. Brooklyn’s Serrano entered the fight as a unified featherweight titlist who has won titles in a record-setting seven weight divisions. Most experts ranked Taylor and Serrano easily among the best four female fighters in the world, and at least top three on most credible lists.
The same parallels cannot be drawn in Saturday’s main event, not even with Taylor returning to the site of her pro debut. Buenos Aires’ Carabajal (19-0, 2KOs) has yet to taste defeat but is relatively obscure with the entirety of her career taking place in Argentina and well off the radar even to the sport’s hardcore fan base.
The purpose of this weekend’s bout, however, is not to catch lightning in a bottle. For now, Taylor is fine with accepting the Serrano fight as a once-in-a-lifetime event, a moment in time as it was hailed throughout fight week. In fact, it was already business as usual by the time she checked out of her NYC hotel room to return to her U.S. training headquarters in the north-central region of Connecticut.
“I was back in the gym a few days later,” confessed Taylor. “I was already preparing for the next fight not even knowing when it was. I don’t know what else to do when I’m not in the gym. I love to stay in the gym, staying active and staying fit.
“We took everything we did from the last fight and studied what we can learn from it, what we need to improve. There’s no such thing as a perfect fighter, I’m far from it. All I can hope for is to deliver another terrific, explosive performance.”
There is one potential plot twist that can leave people talking after Saturday.
“Maybe I can show a bit more aggression on Saturday,” noted Taylor, drawing a laugh and smile out of head coach Ross Enamait. “I know that will make my coach happy.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox