Katie Taylor targeted on Han as Serrano mega-fight looms

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There isn’t any nation that loves fight sports activities greater than Eire, and there are few fighters the Irish love extra deeply than Katie Taylor.

The 2012 Olympic gold medalist might be the perfect feminine pound-for-pound fighter on this planet. She’s unbeaten and largely unchallenged, as dominant throughout her 18-0 run to the undisputed light-weight title because the legendary Floyd Mayweather was throughout his epic 50-0 profession.

If she’s not the perfect there’s, she’s in a small group together with Claressa Shields and Amanda Serrano in a battle for that prime spot. On Saturday in Leeds, England, in a bout streamed on DAZN, she’ll defend her title in opposition to American Jennifer Han.

The cash struggle for Taylor, the one that can increase the passions of the Irish to the purpose the place they have been in 2012 on the ExCel Heart in London when she defeated Sofya Ochigava within the closing to seize the gold medal, is in opposition to Serrano. A pair of legends, among the many finest to ever do it, going head-to-head for all of the marbles, will flip Taylor’s nation into Taylorland for an evening, and longer if she prevails.

Although it’s been 9 lengthy years since that unbelievable evening in London when Eire shut down to look at Taylor grow to be the primary Irish gold medalist in 16 years, it nonetheless reverberates.

“Every so often I’ll see a clip [of the Olympic finale], it’s superb to see the response of the group,” Taylor stated, beaming.

She nonetheless engenders that keenness as knowledgeable. She fights for extra than simply herself, her ardour for what she’s doing at all times shining by way of.

Serrano is likely one of the largest punchers within the historical past of the ladies’s struggle sport, one of many few ladies in a position to rating knockouts with both hand. Serrano is 41-1-1 with 30 knockouts and has held titles in seven weight lessons.

MANCHESTER , UNITED KINGDOM - 2 November 2019; Katie Taylor following her WBO Women's Super-Lightweight World title fight victroy ove Christina Linardatou at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England. (Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Katie Taylor enjoys her WBO ladies’s tremendous light-weight title struggle victory over Christina Linardatou in Manchester, England. (Photograph By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile through Getty Photos)

For as nice as she is, even Taylor doesn’t have that type of ending pop. Taylor is 18-0 with six KOs and all of her work has come within the light-weight and tremendous light-weight divisions.

“I’d like to have extra punching energy,” Taylor stated. “I’d like to see extra knockouts throughout the sport as nicely. I don’t suppose it has something to do with the two-minute rounds [women box two as opposed to the three-minute rounds men box], to be fairly trustworthy. I believe we now have to develop extra energy and discover ways to sit down on our punches a bit extra, perhaps. That’s one thing I’ve labored on for the previous few months.”

That’s what separates Taylor from the remainder of the pack. She’s a perfectionist and regardless of how good she does, she at all times believes she will be able to do higher.

She’s consistently wanting so as to add to her sport and discover methods so as to add new weapons to her arsenal. Her punches are tight and crisp and her footwork is clean as a result of she drills these issues over repeatedly.

Han is 18-3-1 with only one knockout and doesn’t appear to be in Taylor’s class. Taylor, a -5000 favourite vs. Han at BetMGM, praises her as a superb technical boxer and can expound at size on Han’s expertise when you let her.

It’s one other of the lengthy record of attributes she brings to the desk. She doesn’t look previous anybody, and she or he’s not wanting previous Han. Although the big-money payday with Serrano looms, Taylor isn’t inclined to speak about her with Han in entrance of her on Saturday.

“I’m anticipating the hardest struggle from Jennifer,” Taylor stated. “She has plenty of newbie expertise and she or he’s a really technical fighter. She’s a six-time world champion. She was my No. 1 necessary as nicely, so I needed to take the struggle. These women have stepped up and so they’ve boxed past themselves. They’ve raised their video games in opposition to me. I’m anticipating a really, very robust struggle and I’m going to be ready like I’ve been for each single struggle I’ve had over the previous few years.

“She is a fighter who believes in herself. This struggle goes to deliver the perfect out of the each of us. I really like the truth that she’s getting into the ring assured like I’m, as nicely.”

Taylor believes and so does all of Eire. The strain is there, however it’s been on her shoulders for years and she or he rises to the problem every time. With what probably lies forward — a career-high payday and pound-for-pound showdown — anticipate to see the perfect Taylor ever on Saturday.

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