Wednesday 21 March 2018

'I always go into isolation before a big competition' - Taylor ready to lay down another pro marker

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

Sean McGoldrick

Katie Taylor and her Italian opponent Monica Gentili have weighed-in ahead of their clash tomorrow night on the undercard of the heavyweight showdown between David Haye and Tony Bellew in London’s O2 Arena.

Unlike her two previous professional fights, Taylor’s contest will be the lightweight category, which allowed the London Olympic gold medallist to weigh-in at a career high of 134.2lbs. During her amateur career all her fights were at 132lbs.

Gentili was slighter heavier than Taylor, tipping the scales at 134.9lbs just inside the 135lb limit. The 39 year old is a more experienced fighter – this is her 13th contest but she has a chequered record winning just six of her previous fights.

The Bray pugilist has spent the last seven weeks in camp in Vernon, the adopted home town of her new coach Ross Enamait. It is situated near Hartford Airport in Connecticut which has direct flights to Dublin.

“This is the first time I have had a proper camp behind me. I was only over with Ross for three weeks before my first two professional fights.

“I’m definitely enjoying the challenge and I’m enjoying being a professional boxer,” said Taylor, who admitted that she was nervous prior to her first visit to Connecticut to meet Enamait.

“I didn’t know what to expect. But from the first day I knew he was the coach I was going to be staying with for the rest of my career. After a week working with him I felt the improvements.”

In her amateur days Taylor did much of her training alongside the male boxers in the IABA’s High Performance Unit. She still spars with male boxers in the US, but being on her own once training is finished in her new base doesn’t bother her.

“I am exhausted so I’m just happy to rest between sessions. I’m trying to get used to the dynamics of living abroad. The weeks go by very fast because of the busyness of training. It has been very exciting for me and I haven’t been away long enough to miss home yet.

“I’m not really lonely. I enjoyed my own company even as an amateur. I always liked to go into isolation before a big competition. I never liked too many people around me so this environment really suits my personality,” she said.

David Haye weighed-in nearly one stone heavier than his bitter rivals Tony Bellew for their much anticipated show down.

Bellew tipped the scales at 15st 3lbs while the 36 year former heavyweight champion of the world recorded the third heaviest weight of his career at just over 16 stone.

Meanwhile, former European amateur gold medallist Ray Moylette makes his professional debut tomorrow night at a trade show in London. The Mayo native takes on Slovakian champion, 37 year old, Ivan Godar who has won just 17 of his 41 professional contests.

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