Katie Taylor will bid to become a two-weight World Champion when she challenges Christina Linardatou for the WBO Super-Lightweight World title at Manchester Arena on Saturday November 2, shown live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.
On the same bill, Manchester favourite Anthony Crolla bids farewell at the venue he was crowned World Champion, rising Light-Heavyweight star Joshua Buatsi steps up again to take on another former World title challenger in Blake Caparello, Felix Cash defends his Commonwealth Middleweight title against English Champion Jack Cullen and Gamal Yafai and Qais Ashfaq continue their march towards titles.
Taylor (14-0, 6 KOs) completed her journey for Olympic gold to undisputed Lightweight World Champion with a thrilling points win over Belgium’s Delfine Persoon on the blockbuster Joshua vs. Ruiz card at Madison Square Garden on June 1.
After a bloody and brutal battle that captivated the New York crowd, the Irish star added Persoon’s WBC belt to her IBF, WBO and WBA titles to hold all four at 135lbs and cement her place as the number one Lightweight on the planet.
Linardatou (12-1, 6 KOs) landed the WBO crown with a sixth round TKO win over Kandi Wyatt in her home city of Athens in March. The 31-year-old made the first defence of her title against Deanha Hobbs three months later in Greece, dominating the Australian over ten rounds.
Her sole career loss came against Delfine Persoon in June 2016 when she was outpointed in a challenge for the former champion’s WBC title in Belgium – her first World title attempt before moving up in weight to Super-Lightweight.
“I had some of my early pro fights at Manchester Arena and to come back in November and headline a card there a couple of years on is amazing,” said Taylor. “It’s played host to some huge nights in boxing history so I’m honoured to be part of that tradition.
“It’s a new challenge at a new weight and something I’m really excited about. I still feel like I have so much left to achieve in the sport and becoming a two-weight World Champion is one of those goals.
“There are still so many huge fights out there for me like the Amanda Serrano fight, a rematch with Delfine Persoon and a fight with Cecilia Brækhus but the first goal is November 2nd and winning another World title.
“I don’t have any issues making Lightweight so I think I can move comfortably between the two weights. I always want to push myself and Christina’s an excellent World Champion so it will be a big test for me.”
Linardatou said: “I plan on leaving England with my title. If I need to knock Katie Taylor out in order to retain the title, that’s what I’ll do.”
“I’m so happy to be back in Manchester for this huge show,” said Eddie Hearn. “Katie Taylor is now established as one of the biggest stars in world boxing and she bids to make more history by becoming a multi-weight World Champion by challenging WBO Super-Lightweight champ Christina Linardatou.
Adam Smith, Head of Sky Sports Boxing, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be showing the best female boxer in the world back on Sky Sports on this huge show. This is another major test for Katie Taylor as the undisputed Lightweight champion takes on all comers and continues to cement her extraordinary legacy in the sport.
“Katie is a marvellous ambassador and inspiration to so many and we are delighted to be working so closely with her as we look to feature both the very best in boxing and also in women’s sport on Sky.”
General sale tickets priced £40, £60, £100 and £250 (VIP) are available NOW via Manchester Arena (www.manchester-arena.com), StubHub (www.stubhub.co.uk) and Matchroom Boxing (www.matchroomboxing.com).