Katie Taylor will fight leading U.S welterweight, Cashmere Jackson, from Cleveland, Ohio on March 30th at Cork’s Silver Springs Hotel in her last bout in Ireland prior to setting off for the 2012 World championships – and only female Olympic qualifier – in Qinhuangdao, China . At that event, Taylor will be seeking to win the 60kg lightweight title for a record fourth successive time.
In Cork she comes up against Cashmere Jackson who has lost only one of her previous 22 bouts (that in the 2010 World’s in Barbados where she went out at the semi-final stage). Jackson did not take part in the recent U.S.A Olympic trials in Spokane having opted earlier to retain her U.S Welterweight crown (which she won in 2010 and 2011) as part of her own preparations for the Qinhuangdao championships which commence May 9th.
Irish fans though will have other opportunities to see Taylor in action this month for she is likely to be part of the Irish team for internationals against the Netherlands in Dublin’s National Stadium on March 23rd and in Cavan two nights later. Taylor’s opponent against the Dutch is likely to be Jessica Belder, the no 1 light weight whom Taylor has defeated in 2011 in Ireland.
The 24 years old Jackson who trains at the Martin Luther Recreation Centre was voted one of Cleveland’s most interesting people of 2011 as ClevelandMagazine.com tells us :
“Why she’s interesting … Snakebite jabs, pistonlike punches, and a motor that moves her around the ring like a frantic pingpong ball have made Cashmere Jackson the No. 1 female boxer in the country at 141 pounds. She is a member of Team USA .
On getting started in boxing … As a teenager Jackson was getting into a lot of trouble. So her dad, who was a boxer, set her up with a trainer. “One day, while at the gym, he put me in the ring to spar with some boys, hoping to relieve my aggression. It worked.”
Male sparring partners … She doesn’t mind the cut lips or black eyes that she gets when training. “I’ve been hurt sparring against the boys, but I always want to experience my worst trauma in the training gym so I’m stronger in the real fight. I take boxing real serious. I give it my every last breath.”
Before a fight … She always wishes her opponents good luck. “They’re going to need it. They don’t know what I got. I do. I wouldn’t want to get hit with my punches.”
On being a role model … All the little kids in the neighbourhood come to her whenever there’s trouble. “They know me and call me KO.”
Goals as a boxer … To win a gold medal at an Olympics. “I want to be a champion for Cleveland like Kelly Pavlik is for Youngstown.”
Browns backer … “I’m a diehard Browns fan. I’d go down and support them even if I was the only one in the stadium. One of these days, they’re going do it.”
You can see Cashmere Jackson in Cork on 30th March or if you cannot wait until then here is a clip of her in action: