Katie Taylor will face Nina Meinke in an eliminator for the WBA World Lightweight title on April 29 at Wembley Stadium Connected by EE, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Irish amateur star Taylor has taken to the paid ranks in style since her debut in November, racing to 4-0 with two wins inside the distance and wowing crowds on huge fight nights in London and Manchester, and the 30 year old will support Joshua for the second time in her blossoming pro career and can land her first pro title into the bargain with the WBA Inter-Continental strap up for grabs.
Meinke claimed her first silverware in her last fight when she blasted away Hasna Tukic in one round in March to pick up the IBF Youth Super-Featherweight title, and the 23 year old German, trained by former World champion Sven Ottke, is no stranger to the UK having boxed out of the Westway ABC in Scarborough as a teenager.
Taylor’s addition to the blockbuster night sees her become the fourth Olympic gold medal winner on the card, joining fellow London 2012 winners Joshua and Luke Campbell MBE, while Klitschko claimed gold in the Atlanta games in 1996. Campbell faces former World Lightweight champion Darleys Perez, who represented Columbia in the 2008 Beijing games, making it eight Olympians in total after Team GB’s Rio trio of Lawrence Okolie, Joe Cordina and Josh Kelly were added last week.
“It’s a massive fight for me on a massive night of boxing,” said Taylor. “I’ve only been a professional for five months and already been lucky enough to box on some huge events but Wembley Stadium on the Joshua – Klitschko card is going to be something else again. “I’ve watched Meinke and she’s a very strong opponent. She’s unbeaten so it’s a step up for me and I’m sure she’ll be very confident. It’s obviously a massive opportunity for both of us being a world title eliminator and it’s my first scheduled 10 round fight so I’m relishing the challenge. I’ve been working very hard out here in Connecticut in training camp so I’ll be in great shape come fight night and I’m just really looking forward to it now and being part of such a historic event.”
“This is a huge step up for Katie on a massive night of boxing,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “No disrespect to her previous opponents but Meinke is on another level and has operated and been victorious on the big stage. In just four fights, Katie has established herself as the most exciting female fighter on the planet but now we get the chance to see if she is ready for the World stage.”
Taylor’s clash with Meinke is part of a historic night of action on the sold-out blockbuster battle between IBF king Joshua and former lineal World ruler Klitschko, with the WBA and IBO straps also up for grabs, while former World Super-Bantamweight king Scott Quigg continues his quest to become a two-weight champion by facing Viorel Simion at Featherweight, Campbell and Perez clash for the number one spot in the WBA, and Okolie, Cordina and Kelly will draw lots to see who kicks off the historic night.