Thursday 22 August 2019

Katie Taylor cruises to her second professional victory with classy display

Katie Taylor (L) in action against Viviane Obenauf
Katie Taylor (L) in action against Viviane Obenauf

Sean McGoldrick in Manchester

Katie Taylor secured the second win of her fledging professional career in the Manchester Arena on the undercard of the World heavyweight title fight between Anthony Joshua and Eric Molina.

The 2012 Olympic champion saw out the most traumatic year of her decade and a half career in the ring when she defeated 30-year-old Brazilian born Swiss based super featherweight Viviane Obenauf on points after their scheduled six rounder in front of 21,000 fans.

On her way to building up a 9-1 record since turning professional in 2014, Obenauf – a mother of one – had never been stopped before and this brave performance against the red hot favourite underlined why she boasts this record.

It's early days yet in Taylor's professional career, but so far the signs are that Taylor has re-discovered her mojo which deserted her in the cruelest possible imaginable in the first half of this year.

Slumping to three high-profile defeats at the tail end of a magnificent amateur career during which she captured 18 championship titles was truly a gross distortion of what she had achieved in the ring during the previous 15 years.

But now she has a chance to rewrite a different and maybe even more rewarding career in the professional game. So far the omens are promising.

She had to wait five-and-a-half hours before she stepped into the ring last night.

Her opponent was slightly taller but she lacked nothing in bravery in the early exchanges coming forward before Taylor went to work with a flurry of body punches. Obenauf continued to fight on the front foot though and she was caught by Taylor's jab.

The underdog took a count in the first ten seconds of the second round but frankly it was a trip rather than a punch which resulted in her hitting the canvass.

Taylor was momentarily stung at the start of the third round and looked unsteady on her feet for a couple of seconds but recovered, though the rate of the exchanges dropped slightly. Taylor was catching her opponent on the chin with her jab but Obenauf was demonstrating why she had never been stopped in her career to date.

Taylor landed a delightful left cross at the beginning of the fourth round and later landed a couple of telling body shots but Obenauf was proving a particularly resilient opponent.

The favourite caught Obenauf on the ropes in the opening thirty seconds of round 5 but Obenauf fought her way out of trouble as the contest developed into a decent scrap but by then a nasty cut had opened up at the side of the challenger's left eye.

Taylor continued to deliver the clearer punches as Obenauf's eye wound continued to inhibit her. She performed a little jig of delight when the final bell sounded. But the judges sided with the referee and gave the fight to the Irish women on a decisive 60-53 score.

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