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Katie Taylor ready to bring the power on Haye-Bellew PPV

With her fist ‘proper’ camp in the tank, a more powerful Katie Taylor [2(1)-0] is looking to start her 2017 with a bang this Saturday.

It was a quick turnaround from amateur star to pro prospect last year, and Taylor rattled off two rapid wins off the back of a short feeling-out camp.

Now Taylor has eight weeks of toil in Connecticut under coach Ross Enamait and she’s ready to unleash what she’s learnt on the undercard of the David Haye v Tony Bellew pay-per-view at the O2 Arena in London.

“I’m enjoying the challenge and I’m definitely enjoying being a professional boxer,” said Taylor.

““I’ve learned a lot from being around seasoned pros for the last few months. Just from sparring with them I’ve learned so much. It’s been a great few months for me.”

The Bray lightweight is feeling the improvements and noted how “there are little differences like getting inside – that’s something you don’t see a lot in amateur boxing. I think definitely my in-close work has improved a lot. I feel I’ve been punching a lot harder over the last few months and I’m a lot stronger.”

Taylor will be faced by Italian hardwowan Monica Gentili [6(1)-6(1)] on Saturday night. The late replacement step down from the challenge posed by Viviane Obenauf in December, but the Irishwoman is still expecting a game foe.

“I’ve a few videos of her. She’s an experienced girl, six wins, six losses, but she’s definitely going to come to fight,” predicted Taylor

“She was the best opponent we could get at short notice. The other girl pulled out last week so we were rushing to get an opponent.”

The late change of opponent from the initial target of world title challenger Milena Kovleva is no worry for Taylor, who stressed that he focus has been unaffected.

“I think this is quite normal,” she noted. “Early in a pro career you don’t know who you are boxing until late on. Obviously as the fights progress I’m going to know the opponents for months out. But this is quite normal really.”

“I think they’re all out to get me to be quite honest, they’re all queuing up for me, I think.”

“I’m used to it from the amateur game,”

Saturday’s scrap is, hopefully, the first of many in 2017 for the Wicklow woman, who already has a place confirmed on the Anthony Joshue v Wladimir Klitschko undercard at Wembley Stadium on April 29th and is close to securing a spot on the Jorge Linares v Anthony Crolla bill at the Manchester Arena on March 25th.

Taylor outlined that “It’s definitely going to be a busy year for me, a busy few months, but I think I will be boxing for a world title sooner rather than later.”

“The ultimate goal would be to fight for a world title by the end of this year if all goes well. Obviously, I have to have a couple of ten-round fights before then. You can’t just walk straight into a world title fight.”

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

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