Katie Taylor says she faces the first hurdle of a potentially "monumental" year as she meets Rose Volante in a World Lightweight unification clash at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia on Friday March 15.
Taylor looks to unify for a second time against the Brazilian WBO champion Volante (14-0 8 KOs) having added the IBF strap to her WBA belt in April in Brooklyn, New York beating Victoria Bustos.
The Bray fighter can take a step closer to her goal of becoming the undisputed champion on St. Patrick’s weekend, with a summer showdown with WBC ruler Delfine Persoon on the cards to enable Taylor to own all four belts at 135lbs.
As Taylor has indicated before, a clash with seven-weight World champion Amanda Serrano later in the year appeals, as does a meeting with long-time undisputed Welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus.
"This could be a monumental year for me, the biggest of my career both amateur and pro," said Taylor. "I believe that by the end of the year I can look back at being the undisputed Lightweight champion and have had huge fights with Amanda and Cecilia.
"They want those fights as well, but I have to keep winning and everyone raises their game when they fight me.
"I have the chance to win my third World title belt inside two years as a pro, and I'd love to have four fights again this year, but Rose is the only fight in front of me.
"Rose is a great champion. She's strong and has a big right hand, she's undefeated too so she's a proud fighter and she's chasing the same prize as me. We want each other’s belts and unbeaten records, but I have had a great camp and I am full of confidence.
"I think I am getting better and i think it will show on the night. This could be a very physical fight and I am prepared for that.
"I'm at 135 now and I make the weight very comfortably. I could move up to 140lbs but 147? That could be a stretch but maybe I could make it; but anything past that I am not big enough for - so Welterweight would be my maximum.
"I couldn't go down from 135, I love food too much!
"My speed is going to be key in these big fights and I think that technically I am better than a lot of the other girls as well. I feel I have a great team around me, the best coach in the world in Ross Enamait, I feel so prepared going into every fight.
"But each one is harder than the last and I am aware of that, but I have a lot of confidence and belief in myself, I really feel that no-one can beat me."
Taylor’s clash with Volante is part of a massive night of action as with Irish superfeatherweight Jono Carroll taking on local hero Tevin Farmer, who is seeking to defend his world title for a third time.
Olympic silver medallist John Joe Nevin, still unbeaten in his professional career, is also in action in Philadelphia, taking on Colombian Andreas Figueroa.