Friday 28 April 2017

Taylor 'a lot stronger and sharper' as she moves closer to world title fight

The 2012 Olympic gold medallist methodically wore down 39-year-old Italian Monica Gentili before dropping her following a barrage of left hooks 90 seconds into the fifth round of their scheduled six-rounder at London’s O2 Arena. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire
The 2012 Olympic gold medallist methodically wore down 39-year-old Italian Monica Gentili before dropping her following a barrage of left hooks 90 seconds into the fifth round of their scheduled six-rounder at London’s O2 Arena. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire

Sean McGoldrick

Katie Taylor is back at work today in her new training base in the United States, just 36 hours after the most accomplished performance of her professional career.

The 2012 Olympic gold medallist methodically wore down 39-year-old Italian Monica Gentili before dropping her following a barrage of left hooks 90 seconds into the fifth round of their scheduled six-rounder at London's O2 Arena.

Though Gentili had won just six of her previous 12 bouts, she had previously only suffered one KO. But though she scrambled to her feet before being counted out, referee Robert Williams wisely stopped the fight.

Much improved

While she was a last-minute replacement after Taylor's original opponent Milena Koleva pulled out due to a chest infection, this was still a much improved performance from the Bray woman, compared to December 60-53 points win over Viviane Obenhauf.

Whereas her frustration was evident following that win, a more relaxed Taylor was satisfied with her third professional success.

"It was great to get the stoppage victory in the end. Boxing those types of opponents you can definitely express yourself a bit more. I felt a lot stronger and sharper," she said.

The seven weeks Taylor spent in camp since Christmas with her new coach Ross Enamait in Connecticut was reflected in both her patient approach and her use of body shots.

Indeed, the fight worked out much as Enamait had predicted. He had suggested that one shot knock-outs rarely happen in women's boxing; instead it was a question of wearing down opponents on the inside before delivering the coup de grace.

It was always likely that Taylor's fate in professional boxing would be significantly influenced by the relationship she developed with her new coach.

Her father Pete had a big influence on her career and their split left a huge void in her career.

The signs are that in boxing terms she has gelled with Enamait. Indeed, Taylor indicated that after working with him for a day she knew he would be coaching her for the rest of her career.

While Taylor's next assignment in the ring has yet to be confirmed, it is likely to be in Manchester on March 25 on the undercard of the World lightweight title rematch between Anthony Crolla and Jorge Linares.

She will definitely fight in Wembley on April 29 on the undercard of the World heavyweight showdown between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko, for which 90,000 tickets have been sold.

A measure of Taylor's growing popularity was Sky's decision to schedule her Saturday fight immediately before the headline act between David Haye and Tony Bellew. It seems only a matter of time until she headlines a pay-per-view professional show.

According to her promoter Eddie Hearn, after the Manchester and Wembley fights, the plan is 'to move on to a fight in America and then I think we're ready for a (world title) shot".

It is envisaged that the World title fight involving Katie would take place in Dublin in September, which leaves open the possibility of using an outdoor venue.

Meanwhile, former European amateur champion Ray Moylette began his professional career on Saturday with a points wins after a four-round super lightweight contest against Slovakia's Ivan Godor in London. The Mayo man fights again in Boston on March 18.

"It's great start to win. It's a sign of things to come," said Moylette who was appropriately enough fighting in the Connaught Rooms, with Pascal Collins, brother of ex-World champion Steve, and Martin Brennan working his corner.

"He was loose and dangerous enough with the head - maybe that was his way to try and get out. I stayed away from him, I didn't want him to get disqualified.

"You are going to come across these type of fighters in this game and you learn. I won and learned and I'm happy enough with my performance. Boston next and 2 and 0."

Irish Independent

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