Katie Taylor says she feels in the best shape of her life as begins her professional boxing career tomorrow night against Karina Kopinska at The SSE Arena, Wembley, live on Sky Sports.
Kopinska, the 27 year old Pole entering her 25th pro bout, promising to provide an early examination of Taylor having taken the WBC Super-Featherweight champion Eva Wahlstrom the distance and will be boxing for the second time in London.
While Taylor is fully focused on the job in hand, it’s impossible not to look at the future of Irish boxing with huge optimism. Taylor’s Olympic teammates Michael Conlan and Paddy Barnes turned over recently, and there’s excitement brewing over the possibility of some huge Irish fight nights – providing Kopinska is dealt with first.
“Karina is an experienced pro and has been in with the best of them, some really top contenders, so it’s a good challenge for me and I feel better than ever,” said Taylor.
“There’s a few rivalries out there already. I beat Sofya Ochigava at London 2012, she has turned pro and she’s an excellent fighter. We always got on but obviously when the rivalry starts you naturally keep your distance a bit, but she’s a great girl and a fantastic boxer, and if we did fight again down the line it would be a huge event for women’s boxing.
“It’s big names turning over with huge profiles already and I think that all the guys can become World champions too, Michael and Paddy have great chances to reach the top so it’s an exciting time for all of us – I’d love for us to fight on each other’s bills down the line, we could have some really huge fights in Ireland.
“I’ll box anyone anywhere in the world, it doesn’t bother me. I would love to fight in Las Vegas, New York, and at The O2 in Dublin and Croke Park, who knows? It’s all about building for the future, and there’s no future without winning tomorrow and getting the ball rolling.”
Taylor’s clash with Kopinska is part of a huge night of action in London as John Wayne Hibbert and Martin Gethin clash in a must-win Super-Lightweight fight.
RUNNING ORDER – WEMBLEY – 26 NOVEMBER 2016
4.30pm 6 x 3 mins Flyweight Contest
CHARLIE EDWARDS (8st 6lbs 2oz) v GEORGI GEORGIEV (8st 2lbs)
4.50pm 6 x 3 mins Super-Middleweight Contest
CRAIG RICHARDS (11st 13lbs 1oz) v BRONISLAV KUBIN (12st 4lbs 1oz)
(Crystal Palace) (Czech Republic)
5.10pm 6 x 3 mins Middleweight Contest
FELIX CASH (11st 8ls 7oz) v SAM WALL (11st 7lbs 3oz)
5.30pm 10 x 3 mins Eliminator for English Super-Welterweight Championship
TED CHEESEMAN (10st 13lbs 5oz) v LLOYD ELLETT (10st 13lbs 7oz)
6.20pm 10 x 3 mins Vacant WBC International Light-Heavyweight Contest
JAKE BALL (12st 5lbs 1oz) v JJ MCDONAGH (12st 5lbs)
7.10pm 10 x 3 mins Eliminator for English Featherweight Championship @ 9st
REECE BELLOTTI (9st)* v IAN BAILEY (8st 13lbs 4oz)
*Bellotti made the weight at the second attempt, weighed ½ pound heavy first time
FLOAT 4 x 3 mins Super-Middleweight Contest
DANNY DIGNUM (12st 3lbs 4oz) v JIMMY WHITE (12st 5lbs 7oz)
LIVE FLOAT 4 x 3 mins Super-Lightweight Contest
JACK HEALY (10st 6st 7oz) v CHRIS ADAWAY (10st 2st 9oz)
LIVE ON SKY SPORTS 2 FROM 8PM
10 x 3 mins Vacant WBC International Silver Super-Welterweight Contest
BEN HALL (11st) v CARSON JONES (10st 12lbs 2oz)
(Chadwell Heath) (USA)
12 x 3 mins British Super-Featherweight Championship
MARTIN J WARD (9st 3lbs 7oz) v RONNIE CLARKE (9st 3lbs 3oz)
6 x 2 mins Super-Featherweight Contest
KATIE TAYLOR (9st 6lbs 7oz) v KARINA KOPINSKA (9st 5lbs 8oz)
12 x 3 mins WBC Silver Super-Lightweight Championship
ANDREA SCARPA (9st 13lbs 3oz) v OHARA DAVIES (9st 13lbs 6oz)
12 x 3 mins TBC Super-Lightweight Championship
JOHN WAYNE HIBBERT (9st 13lbs 5oz) v MARTIN GETHIN (9st 13lbs 2oz)
(Horndon-on-the Hill) (Walsall)