Unified women’s lightweight world titleholder Katie Taylor is headed stateside to defend her belts against Eva Wahlstrom, Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn announced on Tuesday.
The fight has been added to the undercard of unified middleweight world champion Canelo Alvarez’s rise in weight to challenge Rocky Fielding for his secondary super middleweight world title on Dec. 15 (DAZN) at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Taylor (11-0, 5 KOs), 32, of Ireland, will be fighting in the United States for the fourth time when she makes her third defense against Wahlstrom (22-0-1, 3 KOs), 38, of Finland.
“This is an amazing opportunity for Katie to fight at MSG,” Hearn said. “This is by far the toughest fight of her career so far and hugely important moving into 2019.”
Taylor and Wahlstrom met as amateurs some 14 years ago and have faced each other several times.
“Eva is someone I know very well from our time in the amateurs,” Taylor said. “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.
Taylor also had her previous fight in the United States, winning a shutout decision against Cindy Serrano in an Oct. 20 title defense in Boston.
Wahlstrom, a long-reigning junior lightweight world titlist, will move up one weight division to challenge Taylor.
“I have stated for the longest time that I am ready and I want to engage in the toughest fights available,” Wahlstrom said. “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 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 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.”