Billy Walsh-coached American rival claims boxing “needs” her and Taylor to fight

Good rivalries are a core ingredient to cementing a boxing legacy and that was always the worry when Katie Taylor [8(4)-0] left behind the paid ranks to trade leather in the pros.

The Bray sensation was expected to win a World title in fact she achieved that goal with relative ease, buckling the WBA lightweight strap around her waist in just her seventh fight.

The skill and talent of the World champ has helped raised profile and respect levels for Women’s boxing and Taylor continues to trend set and break moulds since teaming up with Matchroom.

However, some were concerned that the commercial appeal of a fighter without any rivals would stunt the Wicklow woman.

Where there was the likes of Gulsum Tartar and Sofya Ochigava in the amateurs, the field initially looked somewhat barren in the pros.

It was always apparent her promoter were calling out for proper rivals so Taylor could compete in clashes that could be billed as the 50/50 kind to further entice fanfare and thus cement her legacy as an all time great of the game.

Holly Holm, the former World boxing champion turned UFC star has ruled out a previously-mooted clash, but there does seem to be some fighters emerging wanting a piece of the Taylor pie.

Former Olympic foe Natasha Jonas seems a likely opponent down the line as does the McGuigan-backed Chantelle Cameron, while even more technically limited fighters such as ‘Pink Tyson’ Kallia Kourouni have been calling out Taylor.

Meanwhile, there is a new Taylor name dropper on the scene and one that could be viewed as real rival, which both Taylor and her team will welcome.

Top Rank’s Mikaela Mayer, who fought alongside Michael Conlan on the undercard of Vasyl Lomachenko v Guillermo Rigondeaux last week, says boxing “needs” a fight between her and one of the greatest amateurs of all time.

The American, who like Taylor is a former Olympian and for a short period worked closely with none other than Billy Walsh, believes the fight should be let build, but see’s is as an inevitable match-up.

Speaking after her four-round majority decision win over Nydia Feliciano, Mayer [3(2)-0] sai that “I’ve always been paying attention to Katie Taylor. I’ve followed her since I started, and then I trained with her coach [Walsh] in the U.S amateurs.”

“Definitely; it’s going to happen. I couldn’t tell you when but I hope it happens at the right time and when the world is watching – that’s what I feel is important, that the timing is right because we need it.”

“Women’s boxing needs a big fight like that.”

Mayer, like most of the recent amateur lightweight converts bar Taylor, is initially looking to compete in the super featherweight division.

This, and their respective stages of development, means that any fight with Taylor would be a while down the line.

Should she get to world level, the rangey Californian could provide a different challenge to Taylor in comparison to her more stockier rivals.

Targetted next for Taylor is IBF champion Victoria Noelia Bustos [18(0)-4(0)] of Argentina, with Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn proposing a Dublin homecoming in April.

dpg

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