Exuberant but determined – Teen prospect Phelan not hiding her ambition

Don’t be fooled by the fresh, youthful exuberance that emits from Ireland’s youngest pro female figher Katelynn Phelan [2(0)-0]- the teen means business.

The Kildare Town fighter showed as much both during and after only her second pro win on Martin Horgan’s Leeside Revolution card on Saturday night.

Firstly Phelan, who was expected to have a successful and prolonged stint as a standout amateur only to follow her pro dream earlier than most of her peers, showed real maturity when defeating a fighter who debut three years before the Lilywhite was even born.

Not overly happy with her live TV debut back in March, the 19-year-old made sure she took steps to show people what the hype is about this time around.

Having brought on board coach Niall Barrett alongside her father, the younger sister of fellow pro Allan Phelan was much improved, more focused, tactical and proved she has the ability to learn lessons as she comfortably out pointed what was in fairness an opponent she was meant to defeat.

It was almost the perfect fight and performance for a teen novice and while she accepts more learning fights are necessary that business side comes out again as she can’t resist letting fight fans know she is in the game to win titles.

Indeed, she is adamant she will target titles as early as 2020 and has world ambitions.

“It’s only my second pro fight against a very good experienced girl and it was good to get the rounds in especially against an opponent like that,” she says to Irish-Boxing.com post the win over Galina Gyumliyska before veering away from the early career stock answers.

“I am only gone 19 so there is no rush. I would like one or two fights before the end of the year and I would like titles next year. I know I am well able to win a world title and the sooner the better I get belts, but I know I have to listen to people around me and keep learning.”

Phelan dominated from the off and showed real ring intelligence throughout in a performance she claims was her best in sometime.

“I haven’t been that good in the ring in a while. I feel amazing with it. I was very happy with how it went. It was a good tough fight and I performed well. Her face doesn’t look the prettiest at the moment so I think I must have rocked her a few times,” she adds smiling.

Phelan

While it’s always important to try and look good the main reasons for fights against durable, experienced but beatable foes is as much about banking experience as it is about building a record.

Phelan points out she is learning the nuances of the pro side of the sport. That was possibly highlighted in the final stanza when she didn’t buy the constant left hook faint of her opponent to land a massive right hand – and post the clash was happy she had figured out some of the survival tools her opponent was using.

“Knowing how to hold and small tricks I am learning. I am only starting out. She knew when and how to hold, when to move and other little things. I could pick them up in the ring and I knew then what to do to counter them. I think that shows I am learning and the things I am working on the gym are working. ”

Phelan’s fight came not long after three Irish females were lauded for European Games success in the amateurs. Kelly Harrington, Michaela Walsh and Gráinne Walsh all received deserved praise and basked in the spotlight last month, but the fighter remains completely content with her decision to turn over.”

“I loved the amateurs and I have plenty of achievements from it, but from an early age pro was the way to go for me. I think there is something about having no headgear – you look more dangerous.”

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Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)

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Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: [email protected]