Katie Taylor has already made her legacy in women’s boxing having conquered the lightweight division.
On Saturday night, she attempts to become a two-division world champion, as she challenges WBO junior welterweight titleholder Christina Linardatou at the Manchester Arena sharing the bill with Anthony Crolla as he embarks on his final fight.
“It’s a new challenge moving up in weight. I’ve worked very hard in the gym to build up,” Taylor said during the September press conference to formally announce the fight. “You’ll see the very best of me, and I’ll need to be on my game because I think Linardatou is the No. 1 at 140 pounds.”
Taylor’s campaign in the lightweight division has been more than impressive. It all started with her capturing the WBA lightweight title with a points victory over Anahi Ester Sanchez*. Taylor would then make her first defence against Jessica McCaskill who has since captured the WBA and WBC super lightweight belts making Taylor’s victory over her that much more impressive.
Taylor then went on to capture the IBF title against Rose Volante and also picked up a majority decision over Delfine Persoon in June to become the undisputed Lightweight Champion of the World. Taylor is only the third woman to be an undisputed champion, joining Cecilia Braekhus (welterweight) and Claressa Shields (middleweight).
Although Taylor (14-0, 6 KOs) has cemented a fighting legacy with that accomplishment, many boxing pundits and fans thought that Persoon did enough to win the fight on June 1 and most expected a rematch to happen in the back end of 2019.
Interestingly enough, the opponent on Saturday has only one loss on her resume and ironically that was at the hands of Persoon back in June 2016 by unanimous decision.
Although she may be expected to become a two-weight world champion on Saturday, it is not going to be a given that she walks away the belt-holder. Linardatou is regarded by many as the best 140lb-er in the world and is coming off of a successful defense in her last outing. She is also no stranger to making history. Linardatou’s title-winning effort over Kandi Wyatt was the first title fight in the history of Greece.
This has been a banner year for women’s boxing and this fight is another bout that will continue to grow the sport. This fight just continues to build on that legacy. Standing in the way of another big accomplishment is one of modern boxing’s most hotly discussed female fighters.
The future is intriguing for each fighter with potential bouts with Delfine Persoon and multi-divisional titlist Amanda Serrano possibly looming on the horizon.