Wealth Of Options: 2022 Could Be The Year Of Katie Taylor

'The Bray Bomber' beat Firuza Sharipova via unanimous decision on Saturday night, clearing the way for a historic 2022
10:19, 13 Dec 2021

Mission accomplished for Katie Taylor. The undisputed lightweight champion of the world beat Firuza Sharipova via unanimous decision, clearing the way for a historic 2022. The unbeaten ‘Bray Bomber’ can now look forward to some potential superfights that, should they come off, could be the biggest women’s bouts ever staged. 

The first name on Taylor’s hit-list is Amanda Serrano. A scrap with the WBC and WBO featherweight champion sets pulses racing for a number of reasons. The 33-year-old brings real knockout power into the ring, having stopped 30 of her 41 victims. ‘The Real Deal’

has carved out an incredible career, winning world titles in a staggering seven weight classes. Only Manny Pacquiao has won more, with titles in eight weight categories.

A bout with the incomparable Taylor would be an easy sell. Serrano wants it, too. The Puerto Rican phenom, speaking to Mirror Fighting, said: “The timing couldn't be better. I've established myself as one of the greatest pound-for-pound female fighters ever, and so has Katie Taylor.” Never one to shy away from a challenge, Serrano called out Ronda Rousey when the UFC legend was still active in the Octagon.

Another fight that boasts a number of huge selling points for Taylor is a rematch with Jessica McCaskill. ‘CasKILLA’ is the undisputed champion up at welterweight, while the Irish star holds every available belt at lightweight. ‘Undisputed vs Undisputed’ is the exact sort of marketing hook that thrives in big-time boxing, and such a fight would be a headliner anywhere in the world.

The fight would potentially offer Taylor the chance to reign in another division, having held titles at lightweight and junior welterweight. Their first bout was a tough one for Taylor, and McCaskill insists she exposed frailties in the Olympic gold medalist that she is now better placed to exploit. It is true that the American has gone from strength to strength since their 2017 encounter. McCaskill moved up to junior welterweight and unified the WBC and WBA straps, before claiming the undisputed welterweight title. The eight belts the pair share between them, plus the built-in narrative of a rematch, could make this one of the biggest women’s fights of all-time.

The biggest star in women’s boxing, Claressa Shields, is also a name mentioned in connection with Taylor. For her part, the lightweight has dismissed the idea of meeting ‘The GWOAT’ as a “fantasy fight”, due to the fact Shields competes at light middleweight and

middleweight. A 20-pound weight difference could be too much to overcome for Taylor, and it is understandable that she would not want to give up such a size difference. In terms of profile, this would be one of the biggest fights in boxing, but obviously the safety of those involved and the fairness of a fight must be considered. If Taylor does move up to welterweight to meet McCaskill, and fares well, perhaps a jump from that division up to light middleweight would not seem so far. 

Claressa Shields
Claressa Shields

Closer to home, Northampton’s Chantelle Cameron is an enticing bout that could be made. ‘Il Capo’ is the WBC, IBF and The Ring champion, a division above Taylor at junior welterweight. While Taylor has claimed the WBO belt at that weight in the past, the chance to reign as lineal champion in the division presents an intriguing proposition. 

More so than any other boxer, Katie Taylor enters 2022 with the world at her feet. A number of career-defining fights have unfurled in front of her, and should she take on perhaps two of the challenges on this list, she could solidify herself as one of the greatest fighters of all-time.

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