Tuesday 6 December 2016

Bout on Joshua undercard 'stuff of dreams' for Taylor

Ciarán Gallagher

Published 29/11/2016 | 02:30

Katie Taylor celebrates after her Super-Featherweight fight with Karina Kopinska at Wembley Arena in London, England. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Katie Taylor celebrates after her Super-Featherweight fight with Karina Kopinska at Wembley Arena in London, England. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Katie Taylor insists she is flying fit as she prepares for her second professional bout in the space of two weeks against Swiss-based Brazilian Viviane Obenauf on Saturday week in Manchester.

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The 2012 Olympic gold medallist made a winning start to her pro career last weekend, recording a ruthless third-round stoppage win over Karina Kopinska at Wembley Arena.

The 30-year-old Bray woman will return to action on the undercard of Anthony Joshua's world heavyweight title defence, with Obenauf last night confirmed as Taylor's opponent for the December 10 clash.

Obenauf (30) carries a winning 9-1 record and represents a step up from Polish journeywoman Kopinska.

Obenauf defeated Kopinska via unanimous decision eight weeks ago in Berne, while her sole defeat came on points against undefeated Italian Vissia Trovato last year.

The fight will take place over the same six-round distance (two minutes per round) that the Kopinska bout was scheduled for before the early stoppage last weekend.

Taylor returned to training in Ireland yesterday under new US-based coach Ross Enamait, although the pair had previously been working hard at his Connecticut base in previous weeks.

"I think I can definitely do six rounds at a very high pace," said Taylor (below) on her fitness ahead of a busy fight schedule.

"I was doing eight and 10 rounds in the States, for three minutes each, so the two-minute rounds flew by for me."

Taylor's promoter Eddie Hearn and manager Brian Peters are keen to get the fighter as much exposure as possible as they seek to boost her profile outside Ireland, with a crowd of 21,000 expected in Manchester.

"It's going to be incredible to box on this big undercard," said Taylor. "It's the stuff of dreams really. When I started boxing I wanted to box in front of thousands of people."

Taylor looks set to feature on a March 18 bill in New York's Madison Square Garden in support of Gennady Golovkin's anticipated world middleweight title defence, and she is also likely to box sometime in January or February.

Irish Independent

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