Thursday 22 February 2018

Boxing: Classy Taylor 'delighted to be back in ring' as she crushes old foe Graczyk

Katie Taylor fighting Karolina Graczyk
Katie Taylor fighting Karolina Graczyk

Bernard O'Neill

OLYMPIC and World champion Katie Taylor claimed the 133rd win of her 140-bout career on a landslide last night.

The AIBA World No 1 recorded her third straight victory over Polish lightweight Karolina Graczyk on a special support bout on Elite Finals Night at the National Stadium.

Last night's four-rounder was the Bray woman's first competitive outing since she claimed a historic gold medal and the Best Female Boxer Award at the London Olympics last August.

Taylor said before this fight that she was glad of the opportunity to get the ring-rust out of her system – but this was the type of ring-rust most boxers would welcome.

Taylor took the first 9-2 and was 17-3 up after the second. The Pole took a count off a left-right in the third and another count before the frame ended.

The Olympic champion (below) kept firing in three-four point combinations in the fourth, all the way down to a 28-5 verdict. The three-time AIBA World female Boxer of the Year will be back in action tomorrow versus Germany's Maike Kluners at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in Dublin.

Taylor forced Kluners to take two standing counts en route to a 23-2 win in Cork in 2011. The victory arrived just a few weeks before Taylor beat Graczyk in Poland in the EU final.

"I've done rounds and rounds of sparring over the last few months but there is nothing like getting into the ring and boxing and getting the ring-rust out," she said after picking up the national 60kg title unopposed.

"I'm delighted to be back in the ring after so long.

"It's always a pleasure to box in front of your home fans, they've been incredible over the past few years for me.

"I can't wait to get back in the ring (tomorrow). It's going to be a great night of boxing."

Taylor's Bray BC team-mate and fellow Olympian Adam Nolan will also fight on tomorrow's show, along with two-time Olympian Paddy Barnes.

Barnes, who withdrew from the Elite Championships because he was suffering from the flu, meets Aidan Metcalfe.

Irish Independent

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