Stephen Doyle
Stephen Doyle

16.45 18 Apr 2019


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Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has assured fight fans and in particular, Katie Taylor supporters, that the Bray world champion’s big date in New York will go ahead.

This week it was announced that Taylor would get the chance to become the undisputed lightweight world champion by putting her three titles on the line in a fight against the WBC champion Delfine Persoon.

The bout was added to the hotly-anticipated Anthony Joshua versus Joshua Miller card on June 1 at Madison Square Gardens but that particular fight was thrown into some doubt this week.

“I think it’s very unlikely that Jarrell Miller will be in this fight and we have to make sure that we continue to build a great card,” commented Hearn to Sky Sports on Thursday in response to the news that Miller has been denied a licence.

29-year-old Joshua, making his US debut, was due to defend his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles against the American who has never fought for a world title.

Hearn looking for new opponent

However, it emerged this week that there was an “adverse finding” in a drug-testing sample taken from Miller on March 20.

Miller’s camp have now requested a B sample to be tested and if that comes back negative the fighter can make another application for a licence but Hearn is already looking for another fighter suitable for such a big-time card.

“Obviously we announced Katie Taylor’s undisputed [lightweight title] fight as well and we [have to] find a very credible opponent from that top 15 in the world rankings.

“For Anthony the job goes on, the American debut goes on and we’re going to plan a big night.”

Hearn was quick to rule out the possibility of a British challenger, so Dillian Whyte will have to bide his time.

He listed off a few potential opponents such as Poland's Adam Kownacki, Michael Hunter of the United States and Cuban-born man-mountain Luis Ortiz but added that there will be annoucement next week.

Former Irish middleweight champion Andy Lee was chatting about Taylor's bout on this morning's OTB AM and admitted that she will be stepping into the ring against the toughest opponent she has ever fought.

"It's a huge fight for her. She's going to be the co-feature which will be a huge statement for her, for women's boxing. To be pay-per-view in the co-main event at Madison Square Garden, next to Anthony Joshua, it's great for her.

"Persoon is a tough fighter. In terms of her skill, she's not at Katie's level but she's tough and she's strong. You can compare her style to [someone like] Carl Froch, a female version, where she'll come forward with aggression, with a lot of straight punches.

"Katie will have to be defensive and elusive and pick her spots I think."


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