Why Katie Taylor's Epic Triumph Demands A Croke Park Finale

Why Katie Taylor's Epic Triumph Demands A Croke Park Finale
Jessica Gardiner
Jessica Gardiner

Katie Taylor left no doubts about her iconic status as she clinched the undisputed super-lightweight championship in the thrilling rematch against Chantelle Cameron at the 3Arena in Dublin on Saturday night (25 November 2023).

Taylor's redemption story, avenging her previous loss to Cameron in May, unfolded as she secured a unanimous decision, claiming Chantelle's belts and marking her as the world champion in two weight divisions simultaneously.

There were murmurs of doubt around the Taylor-Cameron rematch, given that Taylor would be up against a younger and stronger Chantelle. Taylor might be 37 years old, but she proved that she's still capable of learning and adapting to emerge victorious.

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Despite all the titles and triumphs, there is still one box left unchecked on Taylor's wishlist. A fight in one of the most iconic venues in Europe - Croke Park.

Katie has been very vocal about the desire to fight at the GAA HQ for years, and after the success of Saturday night, she called for a trilogy fight between herself and Cameron. The call for a bout at this iconic location is not just about the spectacle but signifies the culmination of Taylor's journey, a homecoming fitting for a champion who has represented Ireland on the international stage for two decades.

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Katie's promoter Eddie Hearn has also shown his support for the Croke Park dream, hailing Katie as "one of the biggest legends to ever come out of this country".

"Honestly, it's the single greatest night I think I've experienced in the sport. You should be so proud of her. In a world where everybody's life is under the microscope, have you ever heard one person say a bad word about this woman? Never."

"She deserves everything. Croke Park has to happen! It has to happen. Next spring/summer we will create an event you will never forget."

Even musical legend Ed Sheeran promised that he would sing Katie Taylor to the ring if she fights at Croke Park next year.

Now who wouldn't want to witness that entrance?

Hearn has done the math: "We could make a financial case on the tourism and why an event like this would be a huge success for this country. But if they can’t understand the compassionate side of giving this event and night to their greatest ever athlete then I really don’t know what we are doing. But also we are not even asking for favours. All we are asking for is for the cost to be in line with the biggest stadia in the world where we hold boxing," Hearn said.

"The difference as I said before about going to Croke Park we could make it more accessible to people. We had to hit numbers on a gate. So we have to draw up a gate plan. It is expensive. The tickets tonight were expensive and not everybody could go."

Croke Park has been at the heart of Irish sport for over 100 years and is currently the third largest stadium in Europe. The significance of Croke Park goes beyond its capacity of 82 300 it represents a stage where history is made, where legends are crowned.

The anticipation for such a trilogy, especially at Croke Park, where over 80,000 people can witness the drama unfold, is electrifying. It is not just a fight; it's a statement, a homecoming celebration for a champion who has defied expectations.

If this trilogy materializes, it will undoubtedly be a landmark moment, not just for Irish boxing but for the global boxing fraternity. Katie Taylor has undoubtedly done so much for Ireland. She's undoubtedly been a trailblazer in bringing women's boxing to the forefront, paving the way for many other upcoming boxing icons - like Kellie Harrington, Skye Nicholson and even Chantelle Cameron.

Make no mistake, Katie Taylor is undoubtedly one of the best boxers of the century.

And she deserves nothing less than a grand finale at the iconic Croke Park.

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