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Katie Taylor to fight WBO super-lightweight champion Christina Linardatou

Katie Taylor’s last fight was a narrow win over Delfine Persoon in June

Katie Taylor says she feels almost “not worthy” of headlining the bill when she fights Christina Linardatou in Manchester – with hometown fighter Anthony Crolla on the undercard.

Taylor says it is “amazing” to be on the bill ahead of Crolla, 32, who will be competing in his farewell fight at Manchester Arena on 2 November.

“Crolla has been an ambassador for the sport,” Ireland’s Taylor, 33, said.

“It’s weird as the last time in Manchester, I was on his undercard.”

She added: “Crolla is a legend and it will be extremely sad for his farewell fight after the career he’s had,

“I’ve always wanted to change people’s perception of the sport and I think this fight is seen as a great boxing match and not a ‘female’ boxing match and that’s a huge step forward.

“This is not some token boxing match. It is a serious fight and hopefully this will be a common thing.”

Crolla, 32, won the lightweight WBA belt in November 2015 with a stoppage win over Darleys Perez and narrowly lost to unified champion Vasiliy Lomachenko in June.

His opponent is yet to be announced.

Anthony Crolla (right) lost to Vasiliy Lomachenko after being stopped in the fourth round in Los Angeles

Unified world lightweight champion Taylor will bid to become a two-weight world champion when she takes on 31-year-old Linardatou, the Greek WBO super lightweight holder.

Taylor is unbeaten in 14 professional bouts, while Linardatou has lost once.

The Bray-born fighter expects to “build some muscle” in the next couple of weeks, after always “making lightweight comfortably”, to be ready for the step-up in weight.

“Linardatou is a great champion, very exciting and aggressive and she has a big right hand,” Taylor said.

“I’m expecting her to be very dangerous. It’s deserving of a headline fight and a great showcase for our sport.

“Whether I’m fighting in front of five people or 50,000, I want to be at my very best. I want to be the best all-round fighter I can be.”

Olympic 2012 gold medallist Taylor unified the division in June when she secured a narrow points win over Delfine Persoon at New York’s Madison Square Garden to add her opponent’s WBC belt to her WBA, WBO and IBF titles.

Taylor joined the professional ranks in 2016 after a stellar amateur career.

Former British Olympian Joshua Buatsi will also appear on the card.

Buatsi, who recently stopped Ryan Ford in seven rounds in London, will fight Australian Blake Caparello.


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