It’s not a dream fight in Ireland, but Katie Taylor can embrace this weekend as a different kind of homecoming.
The two-division champion and reigning bantamweight queen is set to make her fourteenth overall defense of at least one bantamweight title as she faces Argentina’s Karen Elizabeth Carabajal. Both boxers weighed in for their ten-round championship bout, which headlines the DAZN-broadcast Boxing from OVO Arena Wembley in London.
Taylor (21-0, 6KOs) weighed in at 134.6 pounds as she entered her sixteenth career fight as she returned to her first page. She has held at least one heavyweight belt since October 2017 and has reigned as the bantamweight champion since June 2019.
Buenos Aires’ Carabajal (19-0, 2KOs) weighed in at 134.2 pounds for her first professional fight and her first trip outside of Argentina.
Taylor enters Saturday on the heels of a ten-round split decision win over seven-division champion and pound-for-lam entrant Amanda Serrano (43-2-1, 30KOs) on April 30th. classic at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The 36-year-old champion from Bray, Ireland was stopped in the fifth round and a dominant submission by Serrano won two of the three judges’ cards.
The event took place in front of an MSG merchandise market, with the flags of Ireland and Puerto Rico flying throughout the venue. Ticket sales were north of $1,400,000 and the telecast drew a reported 1,500,000 viewers across all DAZN platforms worldwide.
Saturday’s headliner will come with a different kind of energy, though it has room for nostalgia. The incident happened instead of seeking a reunion with Serrano, while the first talks were held on the fight taking place in Croke Park in Dublin which would mark Taylor’s first fight in her country.
Instead, Taylor returns to the venue where she proudly made her debut in November 2016. Saturday will mark her third overall appearance at the site, the previous event coming in November 2020. victory over the undefeated Miriam Gutierrez behind closed doors due to Covid and social distancing restrictions at the time.
The partnership pits featherweight hopeful Jordan Gill against former top contender Kiko Martinez in Round 12 of the EBU European Championship.
Chatteris, Cambridgeshire’s Gill (27-1-1, 8KOs) was 125.8 pounds in the first fight since his breathtaking, off-the-canvas, nine-round knockout of Karim Guerfi on February 27 at The O2 in London. Gill was on the floor in seven rounds and trailing all three scorecards when he flattened Guerfi at the end of the ninth round of the Knockout of the Year contender.
Martinez (43-11-2, 30KOs) is 124.8 pounds as he hopes to enjoy one last run. The 36-year-old Spaniard is coming off a seventh-round knockout loss to Josh Warrington that ended his IBF featherweight title reign on March 26 at Leeds Road. Martinez won the title with a sixth-round knockout of Kid Galahad on November 13 in Sheffield, while Saturday’s bout was his third in a row in the UK and his fourth. in the last five games.
Main card remaining, DAZN, 2:00pm ET/7:00pm BST
Johnny Fisher (6-0, KOs), Romford, London, 233.4 pounds vs. Dominik Musil (7-4, KOs), Znojmo, Czech Republic, 262.7 pounds—6 rounds, light heavyweight
Mary Romero (8-2, 2KOs), Murcia, Spain, 120 ½ pounds vs. Ellie Scotney (5-0, 0KOs), Catford, London, 121 ½ pounds—10 rounds, EBU junior featherweight title
Gary Cully (14-0, 8KOs), Naas, Ireland, 135.8 pounds vs. Jaouad Belmehdi (16-0-3, 7KOs), Beziers, France, 136.3 pounds-10 rounds, underweight.
Mickey Ellison (13-4, 5KOs), Darwen, Lancashire, 174.9 pounds vs. Thomas Whittaker Hart (7-0, 3KOs), Liverpool, 174.8 pounds-10 rounds, light heavyweight.
‘Before the Bell’, DAZN/Matchroom YouTube, 11:45am ET/4:45pm BST
Jordan Reynolds (3-0, 1KO), Luton, Bedfordshire, 163.1 pounds vs. Jose Manuel Lopez (16-18-1, 5KOs), Granada, Spain, 161.3 pounds—6 rounds, middleweight.
John Hedges (6-0, 2KOs), Takeley, Essex, 181.6 pounds vs. Ales Makovec (3-0, 2KOs), Tabor, Czech Republic, 180.2 pounds-6 rounds, light heavyweight.
Maisey Rose Courtney (first pro), London, 113 ½ pounds vs. Judit Hachbold (5-17, 1KO), Kiskoros, Hungary, 111.15 pounds—4 rounds, flyweight.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDABox