Katie Taylor is set to defend her IBF and WBA World Lightweight titles against Eva Wahlstrom at Madison Square Garden on December 15 part of the Fielding vs Canelo undercard.
It will be the third defence of her titles for Taylor and her third outing in New York as she looks forward to unification bouts in 2019.
However, before the big unification bouts at 135lbs, Taylor must first overcome perhaps her stiffest test to date in Wahlstrom.
Undefeated Wahlstrom is stepping up from super-featherweight where she has ruled over the WBC crown for some time, and despite losses to Taylor in the amateurs, she plans to halt Taylor’s success in the pro ranks.
“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 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 few times in amateur days, but I am sure I won her respect anyway. Now in a 10-round pro fight, it will be a 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.”