Katie Taylor deftly turns tables on reporter after Croke Park question
"You can count them on one hand."
Katie Taylor is back on top of the women's boxing game and, after a break for Christmas, will be plotting a big Croke Park bout in 2024.
After defeating Chantelle Cameron at the 3 Arena, on Saturday, the 37-year-old became an undisputed champion at two weight classes. If the Bray native was not already, before her latest win, she is top of a long Christmas wish-list for many female boxers looking to make a name for themselves in 2023.
The immediate talk, on Saturday night, was of a Cameron trilogy fight at the GAA headquarters in 'spring or summer' of next year. Amanda Serrano was the other name mentioned. No matter the credentials or claims of the other challengers, it will have to be Serrano or Cameron in the main event for Taylor & Co. to have a realistic chance of wedging out Croker. A stronger undercard would help, too.
In the post-fight press briefing, before he reacted sharply to questions about the involvement of Conor McGregor in the event, Eddie Hearn sang the praises of Taylor as a big-bout draw.
"This is Katie's third successive seven figure sell-out. We've had Madison Square Garden and now twice at the 3 Arena. As I said at [Liffey Valley] shopping centre, on Wednesday, you can count on one hand the draws in boxing the size of Katie Taylor - it's Canelo [Alvarez], it's AJ [Anthony Joshua], it's Tyson Fury and it's Katie Taylor, and that's it, globally.
"So, really to reach those heights of what they deserve, we need to be acknowledge it. I know that Chantelle will feel that it didn't go her way, and stuff, but the reality is, if we want to reach those levels, financially, and pay fighters what they deserve, we need those huge gates. And Katie Taylor draws huge gates, especially in Ireland."
In short, if Chantelle Cameron wants that trilogy fight, it will have to happen in Ireland and not in her native England, even though she has tested Taylor to her very limit in two bouts now. Her consolation, according to Hearn, is the bigger cheque at the end of it all.
There was a lovely moment, near the end of that same press briefing, when Taylor (from 6:40 in the clip below) was asked for her opinion on her next opponent.
REPORTER: "Katie, what would you prefer - Serrano or that trilogy with Cameron?"
TAYLOR: "I really don't care - either, or - to be honest. Who would you prefer?"
REPORTER: "You've really put me on the spot!"
TAYLOR: "Well, you put me on the spot!"
Amy Broadhurst shares post-bout Katie Taylor snap
Going into that rematch against Chantelle Cameron, Katie Taylor received the backing of another great Irish boxer, Amy Broadhurst.
The 2022 world champion [light welterweight] has been a sparring partner of Taylor in the past and she told us, last month, that the Bray native would even matters to Cameron.
"I don't think she can get in and perform the way she did the last time," she said. "I think she is going to be more prepared this time, and the atmosphere, and pressure that comes with fighting at the 3Arena."
"Katie needs to box more," Broadhurst added. "It was the same with Serrano, when she was boxing Serrano she was winning handy enough, and then she just decided to plant her feet and go toe to toe, and that could have been what went wrong with her.
"Again with Chantelle Cameron, she stood toe to toe, she wasn't really using her boxing skills and I think if she comes into the rematch and she boxes clever, I can't see Chantelle beating her."
That prediction proved more than accurate, and Broadhurst shared a snap of herself and Taylor showing off the newly won belts, on Sunday, with some festive decorations as a back-drop.
— Amy Broadhurst (@amybroadhurst12) November 26, 2023
You can see the difference between the pre-fight weigh-in picture and the face of Katie Taylor the day after her 3 Arena battle:
One hopes Katie Taylor does get her big Croke Park fight, and possibly a send-off at the famous venue.
21 years after her first big women's boxing bout, it would be a nice way to lay the gloves down and bow out.
- Eddie Hearn calls on Irish government to 'support what is real' over Taylor's Croke Park dream
- "I'll answer it. Not in front of Katie Taylor." - Eddie Hearn refuses to discuss Conor McGregor
- "Don't ever doubt me" - Katie Taylor has a message for her doubters after Cameron victory
- Katie Taylor's success in the 'mad world' of Dublin right now is a shining light we should follow