Let's bring Katie Taylor home and show the world how big women's boxing can be
No more community halls or fights on a school night.
You could understand the logic behind pairing Katie Taylor off against Jessica McCaskill on a Wednesday night but they could have sold out York Hall eight times over [conservative estimate, that].
Taylor's first headliner as a professional fighter was supposed to be part of a big Matchroom week, with David Haye and Tony Bellew rounding out the action on Saturday night. That rematch hit the skids so Taylor was left with the lion's share of the media attention and awarded an extra publicity push.
Still, watching Taylor emerge into a glorified community hall and the stage surrounded by a throng of fans and plastic green seats was off-putting. Here was the Bray native's first defence of the WBA title she won in October and it was in a cramped setting.
There had been talk, when Taylor won her world title, of a first defence in Dublin but Eddie Hearn and his team opted for something closer to their own base. Hearn admitted they wished they could have gotten a bigger venue but the hall was the best fit for what was supposed to be a whopper week.
— Paul Hearty (@paul_hearty1) December 13, 2017
Had the event been staged in Dublin, a Taylor headlined event would have sold out the 3 Arena. The problem was most of the big weekend dates at the venue formerly known as The Point [and O2 Arena] would have been booked up well in advance.
Women's boxing is enjoying a massive up-take in interest and Taylor is the rising tide that is bringing up so many other talented fighters. Mikaela Mayer, an American boxer who competed at Rio 2016, is one of a number of female boxers that have been signed to pro deals in the past 12 months.
There will be no better way of showing the world how big women's boxing can be than the sight of Taylor defending her belt in front of 10,000 fans in Ireland. The optics would be unreal. The atmosphere would be off the charts and even better.
No more Wednesday nights, no more snug halls. Taylor is backing up her amateur career reign of success by rolling over professional opponents. 8-0 and still improving with each and every fight.
Hearn has read the tea leaves and his team will be looking to pick a Saturday night, most likely at the 3 Arena, for March or April next year.
"I’d like to bring Katie to Dublin next," he told RTÉ Sport after her unanimous decision win over McCaskill. "It would be a shame not to fight in Dublin. I don’t think it would make a lot of sense not to fight in Dublin."
Stack that card with another few Irish names and give them the spotlight and the opportunity to fight in front of a sell-out crowd.
Back in July 2014, after UFC Fight Night 46, Dana White witnessed the start of an Irish wave into MMA, led by Conor McGregor. To this day, the UFC president speaks about the night as one of the most incredible of his life.
"We're not here to take part," McGregor declared, "we're here to take over!"
Taylor can be at the vanguard for women's boxing. She will show the watching world just how big this game can be.