You are here
Home > Combat Sport > Boxing > ‘Let’s see if Katie Taylor can top a sky box office event – I don’t see why not’ – Adam Smith on the progression of female boxing

‘Let’s see if Katie Taylor can top a sky box office event – I don’t see why not’ – Adam Smith on the progression of female boxing

Female boxing has experienced an astronomic rise in both representation and awareness in recent years, largely spearheaded by the enigmatic Katie Taylor. This was epitomised on March 15, when Katie defeated Rose Valentine to unify the lightweight division, claiming three of the four belts.

Female boxing has experienced an astronomic rise in recent years, largely spearheaded by the enigmatic Katie Taylor. This was epitomised on March 15, when Katie defeated Rose Valentine to unify the lightweight division, claiming three of the four belts.

Katie’s next fight has already been scheduled. Another unification fight, this time against Belgian Delfine Persoon for all of the belts. It will be held on the Anthony Joshua vs Jerell Miller undercard in Madison Square Garden on June 1.

Adam Smith, head of Sky Sports boxing, is a huge admirer of Taylor and is delighted to see the direction female boxing is going.

“I’m absolutely thrilled that Katie Taylor’s taking charge. When Eddie told me he was signing her I was ecstatic. I think she’s a phenomenon,” Adam said.

“She’s a wonderful ambassador and advocate for women’s boxing and she’s thrilling to watch which is the most important thing,” he added.

Katie has achieved a lot in her short career thus far and has received widespread support from pundits, journalists and fellow boxers alike. But for Adam there is plenty more to come.

“We don’t know what’s ahead but certainly there’s been a massive move in the last few years. Let’s see if Katie Taylor can top a sky box office event – I don’t see why not,” he said.

“I’ve been banging on to Eddie Hearn that I want to see her in Ireland, say in County Cork where we had Eubank and Collins fight all those years ago. Maybe we have some sort of summer festival this year or next year when Katie brings her titles home.

“I don’t have any problem with the fact that it could be, and well look at it carefully, a box office event down the road,” Adam reflected.

A female headlining a pay per view event would be a historic moment in boxing. Many may feel the audience is not there yet. But for Adam, who certainly has the power to make this idea reality, it may not be as far away as people think.

“At the moment she’s fighting in America, meaning late nights for Ireland and the UK, but a lot of people know about her now. Importantly a lot of people want to watch her.

“You listen to Anthony Joshua and Joshua Buatsi, they absolutely love her. When fighters are talking like that you have to stand up and take note.”

Embed from Getty Images

It has to be noted that female boxing is no novelty, the standard is at elite level. For Adam, no different to the men.

“Between Chlaressa Shields and Katie Taylor, they’re as good as any male fighter and I think it’s wonderful that the women are being this opportunity, this stage and this platform,” he said.  

“It’s too late in my opinion, but now we’ve got it we have to push onwards with it,” he added.

Importantly, those at the top of female boxing are proving to be highly influential. There is now an abundance of top-level boxers – and it’s not showing signs of slowing down.

“Look at it, it’s fantastic isn’t it. We’ve got Nicola Adams, Natasha Jonas, Savannah Marshall and Shannon Courtney makes her debut on March 23rd,” Adam explained.

Shannon Courtney, otherwise known as ‘the baby face assassin’, will tomorrow make her professional debut, featuring on a packed Matchroom card at the Copper Box Arena. She fights, Cristina Busuioc in a bout scheduled for four two-minute rounds.

With another female professional entering the Matchroom scene, it’s clear to see the potential scope. Who knows where female boxing will be in five years? One thing is for sure, and Adam makes this clear, is that there is a wider impact to be seen from the rise in female representation.

“I think it’s having a huge effect on women up and down the country. It’s terrific that women have role models now in the boxing arena.”

Katie’s next fight has already been scheduled. Another unification fight, this time against Belgian Delfine Persoon for all of the belts. It will be held on the highest of stages, on the Anthony Joshua vs Jerell Miller undercard in Madison Square Garden on June 1.

Adam Smith, head of Sky Sports boxing, is a huge admirer of Taylor and is delighted to see the direction female boxing is going in under Katie’s influence.

“I’m absolutely thrilled that Katie Taylor’s taking charge. When Eddie told me he was signing her I was ecstatic. I think she’s a phenomenon,” Adam said.

“She’s a wonderful ambassador and advocate for women’s boxing and she’s thrilling to watch which is the most important thing,” he added.

Katie has achieved a lot in her short career thus far and has received widespread support from pundits, journalists and fellow boxers alike. But for Adam there is plenty more to come.

“We don’t know what’s ahead but certainly there’s been a massive move in the last few years. Let’s see if Katie Taylor can top a sky box office event – I don’t see why not,” he said.

“I’ve been banging on to Eddie Hearn that I want to see her in Ireland, say in County Cork where we had Eubank and Collins fight all those years ago. Maybe we have some sort of summer festival this year or next year when Katie brings her titles home.

“I don’t have any problem with the fact that it could be, and well look at it carefully, a box office event down the road,” Adam reflected.

A female to headlining a pay per view event would represent a historic event in boxing. Many may feel this will be a step to far, arguing the viewership will simply not be present. But for Adam, who certainly has the power to make this dream a reality, it may not be as far away as people think.

“At the moment she’s fighting in America, meaning late nights for Ireland and the UK, but a lot of people know about her now. Importantly a lot of people want to watch her.

“You listen to Anthony Joshua and Joshua Buatsi, they absolutely love her. When fighters are talking like that you have to stand up and take note.”

It has to be noted that female boxing is no novelty, the standard is at elite level. For Adam, no different to the men.

“Between Chlaressa Shields and Katie Taylor, they’re as good as any male fighter and I think it’s wonderful that the women are being this opportunity, this stage and this platform,” he said.  

“It’s too late in my opinion, but now we’ve got it we have to push onwards with it,” he added.

Importantly, those at the top of female boxing are proving to be highly influential. There is now an abundance of top-level boxers – and it’s not showing signs of slowing down.

“Look at it, it’s fantastic isn’t it. We’ve got Nicola Adams, Natasha Jonas, Savannah Marshall and Shannon Courtenay makes her debut on March 23rd,” Adam explained.

Shannon Courtenay, otherwise known as ‘the baby face assassin’, will tomorrow make her professional debut, featuring on a packed Matchroom card at the Copper Box Arena. She fights, Cristina Busuioc in a bout scheduled for four two-minute rounds.

Credit – Adam Smith

With another female professional entering the Matchroom scene, it’s clear to see the potential scope. Who knows where female boxing will be in five years? One thing is for sure, and Adam makes this clear, is that there is a wider impact to be seen from the rise in female representation.

“I think it’s having a huge effect on women up and down the country. It’s terrific that women have role models now in the boxing arena.”

Featured photograph/Adam Smith

Matt Davies
Matt, 23, has been obsessively involved in sport from an early age, both as player and a fan. From participation in both school and Sunday league football, to owning a Tottenham Hotspur season ticket from the age of ten, football has been an everlasting presence in his life. He is also an avid viewer of tennis, boxing and more recently squash. Aged 18, Matt left London for Liverpool, embarking on a degree in Psychology. During his time at university he developed a new love for sport in the medium of writing. Matt set up his own website, called ‘All About Spurs’, which dominated much of his time and attention throughout university. The experience was highly beneficial, leading to his contribution to Last Word on Sport, where he writes primarily about the Premier League. Matt is now studying a masters in Sports Journalism at St Mary’s University, where he looks to continue his progression as a sports journalist.
Similar Articles
Top