Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has confirmed that Katie Taylor will fight Rose Volante for the unified WBO lightweight belt in Philadelphia on St Patrick’s weekend.
Taylor will seek to add Volante’s WBO title to her WBA and IBF straps in her bid to become the undisputed lightweight world champion in 2019.
The Bray native is eager to join Ryan Burnett and Carl Frampton as the third Irish boxer to accomplish the feat of unifying her division.
Hearn, confirmed that contracts had been signed for the long-awaited clash, which was thrown into doubt when Volante’s team initially turned down an offer worth almost 15 times more than the 36-year-old’s career-highest purse to date.
I’m over the moon to confirm contracts are signed for @KatieTaylor to unify against WBO champ Rose Volante on our big paddy’s day weekend show in Philly in March. Full card announced soon – the road to undisputed is on ☘️ @DAZN_USA @SkySportsBoxing pic.twitter.com/UEvHJIe4GK
— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) January 11, 2019
According to the42.ie’s Gavan Casey, Saturday, March 16th is the likely date for the showdown between the two undefeated champions, which will be broadcast live on Sky Sports in Ireland and the UK as well as DAZN in the States.
Taylor [12-0, 5KOs] produced a career-best performance in a scintillating shutout win over former amateur rival Eva Wahlstrom at Madison Square Garden in December, while Volante [14-0, 8KOs] took just three rounds to dispose of Colombian veteran Yolis Marrugo Franco in Praia Grande three months prior.
The Sao Paulo native has fought just once outside of her homeland, in neighbouring Argentina, while March’s unification clash will make for Taylor’s sixth outing on American soil.
WBO champion Volante has been in Taylor’s sights for some time and, up until now, she had been frustrated in her efforts to line up a fight against either the Brazilian or WBC belt holder Delfine Persoon.
Volante has held the WBO title since December 2017, however, all but one of her 14 professional fights have taken place in her home country, Brazil.
Taylor called out both Volante and Persoon last month, saying: “To call themselves world champions, they have to fight the best. It’s their responsibility as professional fighters to fight the best.
“[Rose] Valente has a WBO belt and Delfine Persoon has a WBC belt. The only fights that really make sense for me is one of them next. I want to become the undisputed champion.”
News of the fight with Volante is the second major boost for Taylor this week as on Thursday, BoxRec, the sports official record keeper, confirmed that she is now rated as the pound for pound female professional boxer in the world.
The 32-year-old Irish icon is due to be joined by a host of compatriots on Eddie Hearn and Matchroom’s Patrick’s weekend bill as former Irish team-mate and fellow 2012 Olympic medalist John Joe Nevin [11-0, 4KOs] is in line for a step-up bout on the night, colourful Dub Jono Carroll [16-0-1, 3KOs] is set to face Matchroom stablemate Tevin Farmer [28-4-1, 6KOs] for the IBF World super-featherweight title.
In the era of four major titles per weight division, no Irish fighter has ever held more than two simultaneously. Taylor would become the first if she was to overcome Volante, which would leave only the formidable figure of WBC queen Delfine Persoon [42-1, 17KOs] stood in her way on the path toward undisputed champion status.
Belgium’s Persoon defends her belt at home against the teak-tough and talented Melissa St Vil a week before Taylor-Volante, but is unofficially pencilled in to meet Taylor for all the belts in the summer provided both women emerge unscathed.