Sunday 18 August 2019

Taylor makes her points to keep title bid on track

Katie Taylor following her victory last night. Photo: Sportsfile
Katie Taylor following her victory last night. Photo: Sportsfile
Vincent Hogan

Vincent Hogan

Katie Taylor took full advantage of the opportunity to sell herself to a pay-per-view audience in the Manchester Arena last night, her power and precision outclassing a gutsy Viviane Obenauf over six rounds.

In only her second professional bout, Matchroom had pitched Taylor into the shop window where Sky Box Office and Showtime customers were given their first glimpse of the 2012 Olympic Champion on an impressive Anthony Joshua undercard.

It meant added pressure for the Bray girl against a tricky Swiss-Brazilian opponent with just a solitary loss on her record in ten previous contests.

Obenauf looked anything but overawed in front of a sell-out 21,000 attendance, by a distance the biggest crowd Taylor herself has boxed in front of too. If anything it seemed to embolden the two fighters who stalked one another from the first bell.

With her bout 'a floater' Katie had the discomfort of waiting indefinitely for a call to the ring, yet she betrayed little unease from the moment she climbed between the ropes just after 10.35pm.

Obenauf did come charging forward in the opening round, but her lunges were a little awkward, leaving her vulnerable to Taylor's greater accuracy.

The Brazilian was down for a count early in the second but protested strongly that it was just a slip. She certainly wasn't deterred from coming forward but, always, Taylor looked to have her measure.

A stinging left cross from the Brazilian did seem to stun Taylor early in the third, forcing her back on her heels. But she was still bringing the tidier work to battle, Obenauf's face visibly reddened from the punishment.

A beautiful left from Taylor early in the fourth clearly rattled her opponent, but Obenauf was game, still piling clumsily forward despite the discouragement,. That courage looked a double edged sword and she began to bleed heavily from a cut under her left eye in the fifth, both fighters now exchanging furious barrages.

There was no surprise then when the verdict at the final bell went 60-53 in Taylor's favour, keeping her journey towards a hoped-for world title bout in 2017 on track

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