Katie Taylor will defend her IBF and WBA
World Lightweight titles against Eva Wahlstrom at Madison Square Garden,
New York on December 15, on the undercard of Canelo Alvarez challenging
Rocky Fielding for the WBA World Super Middleweight title, live on
Taylor (11 – 0 5KOs) makes her third defense of her belts in her third
fight in New York, first in the World famous Manhattan boxing mecca and
the fourth stateside fight in her last seven fights.
The Irish sensation became the WBA World ruler in her seventh pro outing
in Cardiff, Wales in October 2017 against Anahi Sanchez and unified the
belts at the Barclays Center in fight number nine in the paid ranks,
comfortably ripping the IBF belt from Victoria Bustos in April.
Taylor, an amateur star in the Emerald Isle with an Olympic gold medal
added to five World championships and six European golds, is hunting
unification bouts at 135lbs in 2019, but in unbeaten Finn Wahlstrom, the
32 year old faces the stiffest test of her pro career.
Wahlstrom (22 – 0 – 1 3KOs) is aiming to become a two-weight World
champion in the Big Apple the long-reigning WBC Super-Featherweight
champion steps up to Lightweight to achieve that goal on December 15.
The 38 year old landed her 130lbs strap in April 2015 and has been
unmoved in four defenses on home turf, including a win over her common
foe with Taylor, in former World champion Sanchez, who the Helsinki ace
beat in December 2016.
The pair have history having clashed at the very start of Taylor’s
amateur career 14 years ago, and the defending champion cannot think of a
better setting to meet in the pros and continue her path to unification
just over two years since the start of her pro career.
“Eva is someone I know very well from our time in the amateurs,” said
Taylor. “I was actually drawn against her in my very first international
competition back in 2004 and it seemed like every time I turned up to a
major competition after that she was in the draw!
“She was always a really tough opponent so it’s no surprise that she’s
gone on to have a great professional career. I think this fight will
really showcase the best that women’s boxing has to offer and I’m really
looking forward to it.
“I’ve been lucky enough to fight in some iconic venues since turning pro
two years ago but I’m not sure there’s any more iconic in a boxing
sense than Madison Square Garden. I think every fighter dreams about
stepping in the ring there and I’m no different. To get the opportunity
to defend my World titles there is really very exciting.”
“I have stated for a longest time that I am ready and I want to engage
in toughest fights available,” said Wahlstrom. “This is the ultimate,
biggest and toughest fight anywhere and to have it in the legendary
Madison Square Garden is a huge honor.
“I lost to Katie few times in amateur days but I am sure I won her
respect anyway. Now in a 10-round pro fight, it will be totally
different game with all new avenues to avenge those defeats.
“I have the greatest respect to Katie for how she has remained her
respectable, nice, down-to-earth personality despite all the success and
fame. Thus, I am not going to do any trash-talking, but I am very ready
to do some thrashing in the MSG ring.”
“This is an amazing opportunity for Katie to fight at MSG,” said
promoter Eddie Hearn. “This is by far the toughest fight of her career
so far and hugely important moving into 2019.
“There will be great Irish support in New York and she adds even more
superstar status to this brilliant night of boxing on DAZN.”
Canelo vs. Rocky is a 12-round fight for the WBA Super
Middleweight World Title presented by Golden Boy Promotions in
association with Matchroom Boxing. Lemieux vs. Johnson is
a 12-round middleweight fight presented by Golden Boy Promotions
and Eye of The Tiger Management. The event is sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING,”
and Hennessy “Never Stop. Never Settle.” The event will take place
Saturday, December 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York City and will
be streamed live on DAZN.
Tickets for Canelo vs. Rocky are on sale and are priced at $1,000, $500,
$300, $200, $150, $100, $75 and $50 plus applicable taxes, fees and
services charges. Tickets can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden
Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone
(866-858-0008) and online at www.ticketmaster.com, www.goldenboytickets.com or www.MSG.com.