The last time Katie Taylor was in Cardiff she was playing football for the Republic of Ireland. Now she hopes to rule the world from the Welsh capital.

While she can’t remember the result of the friendly international against Wales – “I think we lost” – she knows that nothing other than victory on Saturday night will be good enough as she bids to meet her goal of becoming a world champion within a year of turning pro.

The pin-up girl of Irish sport takes on newly crowned WBA lightweight champion Anahi Sanchez on the undercard of the Anthony Joshua v Carlos Takam heavyweight title fight at the Principality Stadium.

She may be the bookies favourite, despite only having six professional fights under her belt, but Sanchez is predicting a ‘dark night’ for her opponent at a venue where 78,000 tickets have already been sold for what will become the biggest indoor boxing bout of all-time.

“Everybody thinks Ahahi is going to leave her title belt over here – she isn’t. It is going to be a dark night for Katie Taylor,” warned her trainer.

“We don’t think she is prepared for what is coming on Saturday. We have come over here to win.”

Sanchez has lost just two of her 19 pro fights and is making her first defence of the WBA crown after beating fellow Argentine Cecilia Sofia Mena to the title last month. The warnings to Taylor, however, fell on deaf ears.
“It is easy to say those things up on stage. I am definitely ready for whatever comes on Saturday evening – I’m not so good at the trash talk,” said the 2012 Olympic gold medallist and five times World amateur champion.

“I’m definitely prepared for a difficult night. I had a good 11 week training camp in the United States and I’m ready for whatever is coming.

“These are the challenges I relish and I can’t wait for the fight. It is definitely a step up for me and that’s why I’m taking it so seriously.

“I’ve won plenty of rounds against top class pros in sparring in getting ready for this fight. This is the biggest night of my career and I’m so excited by it.”