Katie Taylor is likely to jump two divisions to challenge for the undisputed world welterweight title in her next fight.
Eddie Hearn is to stage the rematch between Jessica McCaskill and Cecilia Braekhus in January and wants Taylor to face the winner.
Taylor retained her undisputed world lightweight title with a unanimous points decision over Miriam Gutierrez at the SSE Arena, Wembley, on Saturday night. She has already won a world title at super-lightweight, so of she beats the McCaskill-Braekhus winner, she would become a three-weight champion.
Gutierrez, from Spain, was the WBA’s mandatory challenger and it is understood that the IBF are pushing for Taylor to face their mandatory challenger, Jennifer Han, next.
But after one straightforward task, Hearn is keen for Taylor to have a bigger fight next. McCaskill lost to Taylor in London three years ago in the Irish boxer’s first world title defence, but she then became a unified champion at super lightweight before becoming the first boxer to beat Braekhus in August in Tulsa.
“That will probably be her next fight,” said Hearn.
“The problem is Katie is so keen to box, I am not joking when I say she will be asking me if she can box again this year.
“She goes back to see her family for a week then she wants to get back into camp.
Talks of a fight with MMA star Cris Cyborg seem unlikely to come to fruition, though, because Bellator, Cyborg’s promoters, want a two-fight deal to include an MMA fight.
“That fight is all about the money,” said Hearn. “Cyborg is big. Scott Coker (the Bellator promoter) says they want to do one boxing and one MMA. I think it is brilliant for the crossover and exposure for the sport, but we will see what happens.”
The decision by Sky Sports to screen Saturday’s fight for free on their website, as well as YouTube and Facebook channels, meant that Taylor will have reached a large new audience and Hearn said her performance will have created plenty of interest.
“That was massive for her,” said Hearn. “There were probably a million people watching her tonight for the first time and they are going ‘wow’. That was the best I have seen Katie box for a long time. Her movement was excellent.
“We’ve seen it time and time again. She never doesn’t shine. Everything is exciting with her.”
Hearn believes she benefited from the quick turnaround after winning her rematch with Delfine Persoon in August, which meant she had not spent too long away at her training camp in the United States.
“One of the reasons I though she looked so good tonight was that she had a shorter camp,” Hearn said. “Sometimes she trains for 16 weeks, she did that for the Persoon fight. This time she did 7½ weeks. She is fit all the time so doesn’t need a long camp. “She looked fresh.”
One of the difficulties of being an undisputed champion is the need to fulfil the requirements of each governing body to face their mandatory challenger, which sometimes could force Taylor into matches that do not interest the public. Hearn said there are no plans for Taylor to drop any of her belts, though.
“That was her first WBA mandatory in three years of being champion,” said Hearn. “Now the IBF want to call one and she is not very good either.
“The undisputed thing is still a big thing, especially in women’s boxing. I want to get an undisputed champion in every division.
“The sport is not big enough to have four champions in every division.”
Ron Lewis is a senior writer for Boxing Scene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.