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Taylor aiming to emulate UFC star Rousey

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Taylor has big dreams for pro career

Katie Taylor says she wants to do the same for women’s professional boxing as Ronda Rousey has done for UFC.

Ireland’s Taylor, a five-time world and 2012 Olympic champion, makes her pro debut at Wembley Arena on Saturday.

Her bid to become a double Olympic gold medallist was shattered when she lost her opening bout in Rio in August.

“This is the platform women’s boxing needs,” said Taylor, who makes her bow against Poland’s Karina Kopinska, who has lost 14 of her 24 fights.

“We need a few of the big names to turn over, like Claressa Shields did at the weekend [the double Olympic middleweight champion won her debut against Franchon Crews].

“I am not motivated by money. I made a good living in the amateurs and now it’s a new challenge and new goals and that’s what is exciting for me.

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UFC legend Ronda Rousey (left) suffered a shock defeat by Holly Holm in her last contest

“I never felt like walking away. I performed badly at the Olympics but I knew that the best was yet to come. I am a fresh 30-year-old and I have many, many years left in me.

“I’d love to win a world title, unify the belts and win belts at higher weights. I’d like to do what Ronda Rousey has done in UFC, become a big name in professional boxing and raise the profile of the sport.

“UFC take their female fighters very seriously and they claim equal billing to the men on the shows. That’s huge, and that’s why a lot of boxers are turning to UFC.”

Taylor, 30, has already been pencilled in for her second paid fight on the Anthony Joshua undercard on 10 December and might also box at Madison Square Garden on 18 March.

Taylor’s promoter Eddie Hearn wants her to fight on Gennady Golovkin’s next bill in New York on St Patrick’s Day weekend.

Also on the Wembley bill, London prospect Ohara Davies fights Italy’s Andrea Scarpa for the WBC ‘silver’ light-welterweight title.

And Essex boxer Martin Ward makes the first defence of his British super-featherweight title against Scotland’s Ronnie Clark.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/boxing/38106366