Monday 26 June 2017

Taylor shares limelight as she plots similar route to Joshua

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

Ciaran Gallagher

Katie Taylor is aiming to walk the same golden path as her fellow London 2012 champion Anthony Joshua, starting tomorrow night in Manchester.

The Bray native's second professional bout comes just two weeks after her debut win in London, with Taylor featuring in one of the main support bouts to Joshua's defence of his IBF world heavyweight title against Eric Molina in front of an expected 21,000 sell-out at Manchester Arena.

Taylor, who is taking on Swiss-based Brazilian Viviane Obenauf, was afforded special treatment for a professional novice as she sat alongside Joshua at yesterday's main pre-fight media event, with Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Promotions clearly seeking to showcase the decorated amateur starlet alongside their star man.

"He is the perfect role model, he's definitely the perfect role model and he's exactly what boxing needs at the moment," said Taylor on Joshua, who has gone 17 fights undefeated since his Olympic success en route to a world title.

"I'd love to be able to emulate Anthony Joshua and what he's done in the sport," continued the Bray native. "He's one of the biggest names in boxing and he's a brilliant ambassador as well, so it would be a dream to do what he's done for the sport."

Misguided

Despite a somewhat misguided youth, Joshua has developed into a paragon of boxing's more admirable qualities, tending to eschew trash talk in favour of more determined statements of intent.

Taylor was following Joshua's lead in her own reaction to comments from Obenauf, who earlier this week promised to introduce her decorated opponent to the reality of pro boxing's "heavy hits". When asked about it, Taylor replied: "I don't want to be going in and just killing these girls, I want a bit of a tougher challenge and those challenges get the best out of me as well.

"She's obviously coming here to win, but so am I," added the 30-year-old, who appears to be facing a tougher challenge than her debut. Taylor easily dismissed Polish journeywoman Karina Kopinska within three rounds, but 30-year-old Obenauf has never been stopped and she carries a winning record of 9-1.

"It's a tougher opponent. The last fight I was expected to win, so this fight is a bit of a bigger challenge and I'm looking forward to it," said Taylor ahead of this morning's weigh-in when she will again be required to make 132lb.

Promoter Hearn also revealed that US broadcasters Showtime are keen on screening Taylor's bout Stateside.

Irish Independent

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