Katie Taylor will defend her IBF and WBA world lightweight titles against former amateur foe Eva Wahlstrom at Madison Square Garden, New York on Saturday 15 December.

Taylor (11-0 ,5KOs) makes the third defence of her belts in her third fight in New York and first in the famous venue.

The Bray boxer became the WBA world ruler in her seventh pro outing in Cardiff in October 2017 against Anahi Sanchez and unified the belts at the Barclays Center in fight number nine in the paid ranks, comfortably ripping the IBF belt from Victoria Bustos in April.

Taylor, an Olympic gold medalist and five-time amateur World championship is hunting unification bouts but in unbeaten Finn Wahlstrom, the 32-year-old faces the stiffest test of her pro career on the undercard of the Canelo Alvarez-Rocky Fielding super-middleweight title bout

WBC Super-Featherweight belt holder Wahlstrom (22-0-1, 3KOs) is aiming to become a two-weight World champion.

The 38-year-old landed her 130lbs strap in April 2015 and has been unmoved in four defences on home turf, including her own win over former World champion Sanchez in December 2016. 

The pair clashed several times throughout Taylor’s amateur career, including the 2005 European Championships, which was Taylor's first major tournament victory. 

"Eva is someone I know very well from our time in the amateurs," said Taylor. "I was actually drawn against her in my very first international competition back in 2004 and it seemed like every time I turned up to a major competition after that she was in the draw!

"She was always a really tough opponent so it's no surprise that she's gone on to have a great professional career. I think this fight will really showcase the best that women's boxing has to offer and I'm really looking forward to it.

"I've been lucky enough to fight in some iconic venues since turning pro two years ago but I'm not sure there's any more iconic in a boxing sense than Madison Square Garden.

"I think every fighter dreams about stepping in the ring there and I'm no different. To get the opportunity to defend my World titles there is really very exciting."

Eva Wahlstrom (L) at the 2006 World Championships which were won by Taylor

"I have stated for a longest time that I am ready and I want to engage in toughest fights available," said Wahlstrom.

"This is the ultimate, biggest and toughest fight anywhere and to have it in the legendary Madison Square Garden is a huge honor.

"I lost to Katie few times in amateur days but I am sure I won her respect anyway. Now in a 10-round pro fight, it will be totally different game with all new avenues to avenge those defeats.

"I have the greatest respect to Katie for how she has remained her respectable, nice, down-to-earth personality despite all the success and fame. Thus, I am not going to do any trash-talking, but I am very ready to do some thrashing in the MSG ring."

"This is an amazing opportunity for Katie to fight at MSG," said promoter Eddie Hearn. "This is by far the toughest fight of her career so far and hugely important moving into 2019. There will be great Irish support in New York."