Caroline Dubois: Time for Katie Taylor to vacate lightweight titles


It’s been almost a year since Katie Taylor’s lightweight world titles were contested. With the Irish star continuing to fight at 140lbs, Caroline Dubois believes the time has come for someone to box for those 135lb championships: “It’s holding up the others who are chasing their dreams”

Caroline Dubois: Time for Katie Taylor to vacate lightweight titles

Caroline Dubois believes at least one of the lightweight world titles that Katie Taylor still holds will have to become vacant.

Dubois is only 22 years old but has rocketed up the lightweight world rankings herself.

Taylor, who lost her most recent bout to Chantelle Cameron at super-lightweight, is the holder of all four of the major 135lb titles. She will however rematch Cameron at 140lbs in November.

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It means none of her lightweight belts have been contested in nearly a year. Dubois, eager for own opportunity, believes the time has come for the 135lb championships to become active once again.

“Depending on how this fight turns out, if [Taylor] is injured, if she gets cut, they’ll be [dormant] for maybe another six months. I just feel like she’s holding them up and holding up other girls who are chasing their dreams and chasing what they want,” Dubois told Sky Sports.

“I feel like there are some big fights out there for me to be made and I just want to crack on and get on with them.”

She thinks Taylor should start to vacate titles, or the sanctioning bodies should take action.

Caroline Dubois: Time for Katie Taylor to vacate lightweight titles

“Definitely. I think to be stripped of one or two belts. We’ve seen Josh Taylor get stripped of his belts, we’ve seen other fighters get stripped of their belts just because they’re not fighting for them, they’re not defending them and they’re holding up [their division],” Dubois said.

“I feel like we should have the right to be able to fight for them. Katie Taylor, she’s been the queen of the division for so long, I’d imagine they’d do what they can to accommodate her but there’s other girls coming through right now. They just have to be considerate of us and what we want as well.”

On September 30 Dubois will fight Magali Rodriguez at York Hall, live on Sky Sports. It’s fight that will have the IBO lightweight strap on the line but which would also help propel the winner towards a shot at one of the major belts.

Caroline Dubois: Time for Katie Taylor to vacate lightweight titles

“[Rodriguez] has got good pedigree, she’s experienced and she’s been in 10-rounders a good few times,” Dubois said. “She fought Estelle Mossely, knocked her down and was able to get a draw out of an Olympic gold medallist.

“She [Rodriguez] has got pedigree and she’s got experience which is very important and in female boxing is so hard to find because we move so fast and she’s got that in abundance.

“So I’m looking forward to a very good fight and I’m looking forward to the challenge of stepping in the ring with her.”

Caroline Dubois: Time for Katie Taylor to vacate lightweight titles

Dubois though remains confident. “By winning this [IBO] belt and hopefully pushing on and getting my rankings up, I’ll put pressure on [Katie Taylor] and the other organisations for her to vacate [her titles] and hopefully I can have a crack at one of those,” she said.

High-profile American Mikaela Mayer had been in Dubois’ sights. But she is now moving up in weight.

“I think me and Mikaela would have been a big money fight but her career isn’t going to be defined by me and my career isn’t going to be defined by her,” Dubois said.

Caroline Dubois: Time for Katie Taylor to vacate lightweight titles

There are though other appealing targets for the Briton. She would like her next contest after Rodriguez to be a final eliminator for a world championship. Dubois is also eager to box Elhem Mekhaled, who fought Alycia Baumgardner for the undisputed super-featherweight title and has now stepped up to lightweight.

“I think that would be a really good fight, a real good challenge because she’s fought Baumgardner, she’s fought Delfine Persoon and she’s challenged world champions and been at that level,” Dubois said.

“That’s what I want, those kind of fights, real challenging tough fights. Karen Carabajal, she also fought Katie Taylor, gave her a good 10 rounds, good account of herself. Those kind of fights where they’re challenging, tricky make sense to me and excite me.”

Caroline Dubois: Time for Katie Taylor to vacate lightweight titles

Changing championship distance?

Women’s title fights are normally 10 two-minute rounds. Amanda Serrano recently announced her next contest would, like men’s title fights, be contested over 12 three-minute rounds.

Dubois paid tribute to Serrano for that development.

“She’s knocking down all those barriers,” Dubois said. “It’s good for her, it’s good for what she’s doing and I like to see that movement.

Caroline Dubois: Time for Katie Taylor to vacate lightweight titles

“12 three-minute rounds, that’s ground-breaking.”

She noted: “I think 12 three-minute rounds would be good for me because I’ve got the power to break someone down and I’ve also got the skill to manage the rounds.

“I think I’m someone who knows how to pace myself when I fight. I fight in a way where I control what’s happening.”

Dubois has a long career stretching out ahead of her and she does expect, one day, to box over that 12-threes distance.

“Probably,” she said. “I’ll probably get called out for it and I’ll probably accept the challenge.”


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