Katie Taylor historic MSG title defence against former foe confirmed

Katie Taylor will defend her WBA and IBF World Lightweight titles against undefeated Finnish fighter Eva Wahlstrom at Madison Square Garden, New York on the 15th of December.

The 32-year-old (11-0) will be making the third defence of her world titles, 10 months after she unified the lightweight divisions by capturing the IBF championship from Victoria Bustos in April.

Last weekThe42 reported that Taylor was set for her MSG debut against Wahlstrom, news that was confirmed on Tuesday evening.

The Bray-native shares a storied history with Wahlstrom, including defeating the 38-year-old Finn on her way to gold in the 2005 European Amateur Championships and the 2006 World Championships.

Speaking about the bout, Taylor said: “Eva is someone I know very well from our time in the amateurs.

“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.

Meanwhile, the undefeated Wahlstrom (22-0-1) will be looking to become a two-weight world champion when she faces Taylor, having won the WBF Super-Featherweight champion in 2015. She has successfully defended the strap four times, including against the former Taylor foe Anahi Sanchez in December 2016.

“I have stated for the 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 honour.

“I lost to Katie a 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.”

Taylor’s defence of her world titles against Wahlstrom will take place on the undercard of one of the biggest shows of the year, with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez challenging Rocky Fielding for the WBA World Super Middleweight title in the main-event.

Katie Taylor vs Eva Walhstrom for the WBA and IBF World Lightweight titles will air live on Sky Sports on the 15th of December.

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