Taylor wants all the belts, then megafights

Unified lightweight world titleholder Katie Taylor wants all four major belts in the division. Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

Katie Taylor is on a mission "to make history" in 2019 by becoming undisputed lightweight world champion and then face Amanda Serrano -- who has won titles in seven different weight classes -- in a megafight.

Taylor has already started putting together pieces of the puzzle by unifying two versions of the 135-pound title last year, and on Friday, she has the opportunity to acquire a third belt.

WBA-IBF champion Taylor (12-0, 5 KOs), who is from Bray, Ireland and trains in Vernon, Connecticut, faces Brazil's Rose Volante (14-0, 8 KOs), the WBO titleholder, in a clash of two unbeaten fighters in the undercard of Tevin Farmer's IBF world super-featherweight title defense against Jono Carroll at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia on St. Patrick's Day weekend.

Taylor, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist, and Carroll can count on good support at a time when unification fights are failing to happen in boxing. Taylor considers herself fortunate for the opportunity.

"When I started I didn't know where it was going to go, what people's perceptions of women's professional boxing would be, but I've boxed in all these big stadiums and venues, like Madison Square Garden in my last fight, and one of the main things I wanted to do was to become undisputed world champion." Katie Taylor

"I'm very blessed to be in this position," Taylor told ESPN. "Fights are a lot easier to make in women's boxing because the women are not contracted to TV companies like the men are. This is exactly where I wanted to be when I sat down with [promoter] Eddie [Hearn] two years ago. I want to be unified champion, in big fights, at big venues, and this ticks all the boxes.

Taylor, however, admits it has exceeded all her expectations.

"When I started I didn't know where it was going to go, what people's perceptions of women's professional boxing would be, but I've boxed in all these big stadiums and venues, like Madison Square Garden in my last fight, and one of the main things I wanted to do was to become undisputed world champion.

"I've got the opportunity to win a third world title with this fight, and then there might be the chance for a fight with all four titles on the line."

The other world titleholder at lightweight is WBC belt holder Belgium's Delfine Persoon (42-1, 17 KOs), 34, who faces Haiti's Brooklyn-based Melissa St Vil (11-3-4, 1 KO) on March 9.

If Taylor, 32, becomes a three-belt titleholder on Friday, she is being lined up to face the Persoon-Vil winner to decide an undisputed champion on the undercard of WBA-IBF-WBO world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua's defense against Jarrell Miller at Madison Square Garden, New York, on June 1.

Taylor's manager Brian Peters is mapping out an exciting pathway to superstardom this year. If all goes to plan, Taylor will become one of boxing's biggest stories of the year, and one of its biggest stars.

"It's certainly a possibility [fighting Persoon on June 1], that's what I'm working frantically on now, and I believe it will happen," Peters told ESPN.

"We have to start now because for a slot on these big shows, there's no point coming to look for it after the Volante fight. The budget will be gone, but that's my job to manage the situation.

"Persoon is a great fighter, and that will steal the show on June 1. Katie has stolen the show on many occasions, even when Canelo fought Rocky Fielding in December [at Madison Square Garden]. I remember 40 or 50 Canelo fans running up to her after the fight."

Peters is also hopeful of matching Taylor with Puerto Rico's New York-based Serrano (36-1-1, 27 KOs), 30, at the end of the year. Serrano won a title in an unprecedented seventh weight category in January.

"The Serrano fight is big, and I want it to be a headline fight in New York, I think it's possible for this year," Peters told ESPN.

"It's not out of a lack of respect for her next opponent, you have to plan ahead to get slots on these big shows and TV."

Taylor, who is averse to any trash talking, say she is not underestimating the threat of Volante despite talks of future fights this year.

"Volante, she's very game and a dangerous opponent with a big right hand," Taylor told ESPN. "The Persoon fight is not something I'm thinking about right now. I've got to get past Volante for that fight to happen, so my focus is on that fight right now. I would love the opportunity though, if I won three belts, to fight for the fourth, the WBC belt, but Persoon has a hard fight on her hands too.

"I want to be involved in big fights and make history, and that fight would be both of those things, so hopefully it happens. Serrano too, at the end of the year, is a fantastic fight and is one of the biggest fights in women's boxing right now. But I have to keep winning for these fights to happen."

According to Taylor, capturing all four belts would beat winning gold at the London 2012 Olympics, when women's boxing was first featured at the Summer Games.

"I think it would be better," Taylor told ESPN. "This next chapter is going to be my greatest, yet the best is yet to come, I keep saying it. It's something I dreamed of, and I'm blessed to be in a great division."

Peters says there are no plans for Taylor to box at home in Ireland for the foreseeable future.

"I don't see Katie fighting in Ireland," Peters told ESPN. "If all goes well, Katie is undisputed champion and will headline a card versus Serrano in New York at the end of the year, and it will be record-breaking for women's boxing. Then there's the fight with [Cecilia] Braekhus. We can't do that in Ireland."

Fame and fortune are unlikely to change the modest, teetotal and devoutly religious Taylor. A recent documentary film, "Katie," based on Taylor's journey to becoming world champion was recently released, but she can not bring herself to watch it.

"I haven't seen it yet, maybe I will watch it when I retire, I guess I know how it goes," Taylor said.

Her Christian faith plays a leading role in her life and boxing success.

"Definitely religion is important to my boxing," Taylor told ESPN. "It's the most important thing in my life in fact. It definitely helps with my boxing. If I ever have doubts I can go to God and read the scriptures. I wouldn't be in the position I am now without God in my life. I've been blessed with a gift, and I try to use it the best I can. God is the one constant in my life.

"One of my favorite scriptures is 'Mighty warrior is our God' and some of the big men of faith were warriors Joshua and Samson. This is a sport, and I definitely feel I have respect for my opponent, but I'm very competitive. I have a gift of God, I was born to do it, and I feel blessed with that."