Sunday 25 June 2017

Taylor avoids pre-fight hype

Ireland's Katie Taylor Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Ireland's Katie Taylor Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Bernard O'Neill

In a sport in which some view having respect for an opponent as an oddity, Katie Taylor's modesty stands out ahead of tomorrow's six-rounder with Italian veteran Monica Gentili in London.

The 2012 Olympic champion meets the Lazio lightweight in her third pro fight on the David Haye and Tony Bellew grudge match at the O2 Arena. Haye and Bellew have been slagging each other off since they came to blows at a press conference last November.

The British Boxing Board of Control handed them a suspended warning after that row, but that sanction, given their conduct up to and including yesterday's final media briefing, appears to be about as effective as handing out speeding tickets at a Formula One race.

Taylor, meanwhile, is well used to pressure in the lead-up to her third outing in the paid ranks against a 39-year-old who has a history of six losses and six wins.

"I feel I have been dealing with that pressure from the get-go, really. I'm in a privileged position. I'm absolutely blessed to be where I am today, so grateful for these opportunities as well," said Taylor. "She's (Gentili) definitely going to come to fight. It's going to be a tough fight."

Taylor's team are fast-tracking her toward a world title, and she could meet Argentina's Anabella Farias, the WBC champion, who the Bray woman beat in the 2006 world amateur final.

Irish Independent

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