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Andy Lee believes Katie Taylor is the most talented and skilled fighter in the Matchroom stable

Former WBO middleweight champion Andy Lee [35(24)-3(2)-1] believes that Katie Taylor is “the best thing” about most Sky Sports Boxing shows.

The Athens Olympian is a student of the game, and pointed out that the technical skill exhibited by Taylor [4(2)-0] is mostly superior to her male counterparts on Matchroom shows.

The Bray lightweight was in action again on Saturday night on the Jorge Linares v Anthony Crolla WBA lightweight title rematch at the Manchester Arena. Here she outpointed recent world title challenger Milena Koleva of Bulgaria.

Speaking on Off The Ball’s Sunday Paper Review on Newstalk 106FM, Limerick’s Lee how “in any of her fights that I’ve watched, apart from last night because Jorge Linares is such an exceptional fighter, when she fought on the undercard of Haye-Bellew she was the best fighter on the card. Her skills and her talent, the display she put on was the best thing about the whole night.”

Analysing Taylor’s dominant eight round win over Koleva, Lee described how Taylor “pretty much had a very good, steady performance, the usual fast hands and flashes of real quality and brilliance against a tough opponent and she went the eight round distance.”

“What I saw in her performance was that she paced it out well, she took her time, she wasn’t over-eager, and she continues on a steady march.

“She’s got great feet, great feints, and great handspeed. She does have some flaws, she still has some improvements to make in terms of her defence, her head movement, and the turning of her hips when she punches. Hopefully that will come in time, it’s only been four fights, she’s still transitioning and she’s still very much boxing as she did as an amateur with a little bit more emphasis on strength.”

Like most, Lee is anticipating a world title win for the Wicklow woman by the end of 2017, however he notes that there will be obstacles to overcome in terms of opponents.

Lee explained that “the World champion at her weight [WBC super featherweight champ Eva Wahlstrom], Katie has beaten her three times, that was as an amateur, it bodes well. They’re giving her the big push, it’s great to see. I think Eddie Hearn himself has been taken aback and enamoured by her.”

“The problem is finding that marquee opponent or rival that she can come up against. I think they might have to create or highlight some of her potential opponents in the future if they want to make a big event.”

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie