Katelynn Phelan [5(1)-0] is happy to do the business in the ring and let others sort the kind of business done over the negotiating table and outside the squared circle.
Excitement started to brew with regard to the Kildare prospect when she picked up the WBC world youth title in Germany last year – and while things have yet to come to the boil she made more sit up and take not with an impressive win over Karina Kopinska [13(3)-37(3)-4] in Luxembourg on Saturday.
Kopinska wasn’t quite the scalp Jessica Shadko was but dominating against the veteran Pole with a fan-friendly style over eight high-paced rounds allowed Phelan followers to argue she has genuine real deal potential.
Many believe the 20-year-old is ready for some serious step-ups and could be a fixture at world level very soon. Indeed her promoters, Boxing Ireland are hoping for a world title fight by the end of the year and have talked about a massive Kildare homecoming for the now world-ranked ‘Smiling Assassin’.
More intent on improving and proving herself, Phelan is happy to leave the speculation and planning to others.
“Let’s see what Len and Stephen bring,” was the quick and simple reponse when pushed on what might be next post her shut out points win.
“Each fight I have I get fitter stronger and faster and I am learning from every opponent I have. I am very grateful to get the opportunity to have these types of fights,” she adds explaining her approach to the game in the process.
The leading light of the Boxing Ireland stable was expected to defeat Kopinska. A stoppage victory would have proved something of a statement but those that watched the fight would have been equally impressed with how the St Brigids Kildare fighter dominated over eight high octane rounds.
Phelan felt she flirted with the stoppage win only for experience to get the Pole over the line.
“I landed with one big body shot and I knew I hurt her with that, I went to follow up, but she was very game and strong and anything I threw she was well able to take,” she continued.
“I could tell literally from the first jab I threw I was hurting her with my punches and the more I landed and hurt her the more she went back. By the third round she was going back and she wanted to run. We know how to fight people that run as well, we know what to do in the ring so we knew when she wanted to retreat.”
The referee did at one point step in when Phelan was applying pressure with her foe backed up the ropes but let Kopinska fight on after having her checked by the ringside doctor.
“I didn’t think he would [the referee was going to stop it then],” she commented.
“I know she is game and I don’t think she would let him to be honest. There was a bit of blood on my gloves which I was raging about but we cleaned that off.”
Reflecting on the experience as a whole the Niall Barrett trained 20-year-old was happy with her performance and what she gained from the fight.
“I gained a lot of experience. It was a good fight. From round one she was coming to fight and that is what I wanted. I wanted someone that comes and fights and tries to win. The more the fight went on the more comfortable and relaxed I felt. I really enjoyed it.
“We were expecting her to be a bit of an animal in the first three rounds. That’s what she is known for, she comes in ready to fight and use her experience. We knew that was going to happen and we planned for it. But that’s what I like, I like someone coming to fight.”