Monday 19 March 2018

Boxing: Pro champion fancies shot at Katie

Bernard O'Neill

A preacher's daughter from New Mexico is emerging as a potential opponent for Olympic champion Katie Taylor for an unofficial World title.

Taylor hammered out a landslide win over Bulgaria's Denista Eliseeva at the Royal Theatre in Castlebar, 48 hours after beating Ukrainian Yulia Tsiplakova at Dublin's Bord Gais Energy Theatre.

Taylor, who has now beaten Eliseeva four times, was handed a 25-8 decision over the Bulgarian – who was awarded a controversial win over Taylor in Bulgaria in 2011.

Taylor was 6-2 up after the first, was leading 12-3 after the second and took an 18-5 lead from the third into the fourth and final frame last night.

Meanwhile, America's Holly Holm, a multiple world pro champion, has indicated she would be interested in meeting Taylor to decide who is the best pound-for-pound female fighter in the world.

Holm – nicknamed 'The Preacher's Daughter' – said she appreciated what Taylor has done for female boxing following her gold medal win at the London Olympics, but added she would be confident of beating her.

The Albuquerque southpaw has won 32 of her 37 outings and is the current World light-welterweight and welterweight champion and has claimed the Ring Best World Female Pro Boxer award twice.

Argentina's Anabella Farias, who Taylor – a three-time AIBA World Female Boxer of the Year – hammered in the 2006 AIBA World final in Delhi, is another potential opponent from the pro ranks.

Taylor's father and coach Pete Taylor said his daughter would have no problem stepping into the ring with Holm, who claims she is of Irish descent.

"Katie has great respect for what Holly Holm has achieved in her career and in professional boxing and she'd love to box her," Taylor said. "Katie knows it would be a difficult fight but she'd relish the challenge."

Current European champion Ray Moylette beat Galway's Patrick Mongan 19-7 on the Taylor/Eliseeva undercard in a repeat of February's Irish Elite Championships quarter-final, which Moylette won 14-7.

Taylor, meantime, will be aiming for her fifth European Union title in a row in Hungary this summer. She's improved to 136 wins from 143 outings in her career, not counting walkovers for and against, following last night's victory.

Irish Independent

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