Katie Taylor: Long-awaited Croke Park homecoming ‘is realistic’


He then asked her how she used the $1m (£860,000) prize money victory over Amanda Serrano At Madison Square Garden, Katie Taylor laughed and said she’s “not a big spender.”

The 36-year-old aims to keep his feet firmly in the ring as he prepares to face off. Karen Elizabeth Carabajal from Argentina on Saturday, in the less ideal surroundings of Wembley Arena.

It’s a step down for Taylor after the biggest win of his pro career in New York in April, and on paper, he’s expected to beat the current undisputed lightweight champion comfortably.

However, he next sets his sights on what could be his pinnacle fight: boxing in his native Republic of Ireland for the first time in his professional career.

Taylor is eyeing a rematch with Serrano in front of 80,000 fans at Croke Park in Dublin, and he strongly believes it can happen.

He told BBC Sport: “Obviously I can’t control what he had [Serrano] he does; There are many great battles for me. All I want is to headline a fight in Ireland.

“In six years as a pro, I’ve never headlined a fight in Ireland. That would be huge, and against Serrano would be good. But there’s no shortage of big names.”

“All politics are behind us now”

Taylor (left) won a million dollar purse for beating Serrano in New York

Problems outside the ring have prevented Taylor from returning home.

It has been done by the Irish government refused to sanction pro-events in the country since he was shot dead at a boxing weigh-in in Dublin’s Regency Hotel in 2016.

Irishman Daniel Kinahan, who founded a company that would become a boxing management and promoters company called MTK Global The US government has also sanctioned it He is allegedly a key member of the Kinahan organized crime group.

In April, it was announced that the MTK would be ceasing operations due to their tight control since Kinahan was sentenced – leaving the door open for Taylor to return home.

“It’s definitely realistic,” he said of the prospect of fighting in Dublin. “We were talking about Croke Park. Fighting there in front of 80,000 people would be the biggest event in the history of women’s boxing.

“That would be great, and a very realistic goal for next year.

“All the politics are behind us now. It’s unfortunate because we wanted Serrano’s rematch right away.”

Taylor’s promoter Eddie Hearn also confirmed that there had been positive discussions with the Irish authorities about taking the fight in Ireland.

“We had a lot of conversations at the end of last summer to get ready to go there,” he said. “A lot of those conversations were with Croke Park and the government – they’re ready.

“If it’s time for Ireland to return to boxing, Katie Taylor is the one to do it.”

Taylor still has a lot to do in her career, having gained wider public attention a decade ago by winning one of the inaugural gold medals in women’s boxing at the 2012 London Olympics.

Retirement is far from his mind.

“Vegas is one of the great things, it’s the mecca of boxing, I’ve always wanted to fight,” he said.

“More importantly, I want to take part in the biggest fights. At the moment, I feel like people haven’t seen my best yet.

“I don’t like to limit myself, I take it fight by fight, year by year. I feel fantastic right now and I still love my sport. I still love getting up early in the morning, I still love sparring. I still love the sessions. As long as I still have that, I still I will want more.”

“Female fighters are the biggest household names”

Claressa Shields
Claressa Shields is the only woman to be a joint world champion in two weight classes

Taylor also said she would be happy to move up from lightweight to a proper fight – although a fan’s dream match would be a long fight against Claressa Shields, who has fought at middleweight, middleweight and super-middleweight.

She is a big admirer of Shields and called her victory over Savannah Marshall an “iconic fight”, but she brushed it off. The GWOAT debate.

“I don’t pay much attention to what people are saying in that interview about the greatest women of all time,” she said. “He’s doing his thing, I’m doing mine.

“It’s amazing to see so many people really talking about women’s boxing. For the first time in many years, female fighters are the biggest household names.

“But I’m here to tell you who is the best.”

Taylor may want a rematch with Serrano, but first he needs to get past Carabajal, who is 19-0 against his mandatory belt challenger.

He declined to make a fight announcement — or to reveal what the purse is after his $1 million payday — but he has no intention of being lost as a no-nonsense number.

“I’m not one for predictions, but it’s going to be a fantastic fight, it promises to be a great contest. As long as I keep those belts, staying undefeated is the main thing,” he said.

Win, and there could be a historic homecoming. Don’t expect him to make a splash at the celebration.