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tough test Katie Taylor's next opponent is revealed as she prepares for a showdown in Liverpool

It will be Taylor’s last fight before her probable showdown against Amanda Serrano in New York’s Madison Square Garden in April 2022.

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Katie Tayor is back in the ring this December

Katie Tayor is back in the ring this December

Katie Tayor is back in the ring this December

KATIE Taylor will defend her WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO and Ring Magazine World lightweight belts against Firuza Sharipova from Kazakhstan in the Liverpool Arena on December 11.

It will be Taylor’s last fight before her probable showdown against Amanda Serrano in New York’s Madison Square Garden in April 2022.

Twenty-seven-year old Sharipova, who became Kazakhstan’s first ever female professional fighter in 2016, is the WBA’s mandatory challenger for Taylor five belts.

Sharipova has picked up minor titles at super-featherweight, lightweight and super lightweight and has a 14-1 record. She lost her first fight against an opponent who Taylor would be particularly familiar with.

Five years ago in the Ice Palace in Moscow, she lost to Russian Sofya Ochigavia who was beaten in Taylor in the Olympic gold medal fight in London in 2012. Ochigavia only fought five times in pro boxing so a rematch against Taylor in the pro game never materialised.

At face value, Sharipova has a decent record and a better knock out rate than Taylor – 53% to 31%. But six of her 15 wins were against opponents who are making their pro debuts while she has only faced four opponents with a winning record.

Taylor has faced far more experienced opponents though she needs to be wary of Sharipova. "I'm looking forward to ending the year on a high with another defence of my titles,” said Taylor. “I know there are some huge fights out there for me in 2022 but for now my sole focus is on December 11 and this mandatory defence against Sharipova."

Taylor will be bidding for her 20th consecutive win since turning professional after the 2016 Rio Olympics.

It will also be a big night for Belfast middleweight Caoimhin Agyarko (9-0) who makes his Matchroom debut.

Meanwhile, the McKenna brothers from Monaghan as well as Donegal’s Brett McGinty all kept their unbeaten professional records on an entertaining card at Coventy’s Skydome on Saturday night.

Aaron McKenna was taken the distance by a replacement opponent Gabor Gorbics, a 37-year old Hungarian super-middleweight. But McKenna but won comfortably 80-71 on points.

His other brother Stevie dispatched his opponent Richmond Djarbeng from Ghana 43 seconds in the first round to move to 10 wins while McGinty had to work hard to beat Czech fighter Pavel Albrecht over four rounds.

The McKenna brothers will be action for their new promoter Mick Hennessy in Crystal Place on December 10 when they both challenge for World youth titles in their respective divisions.

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