Katie Taylor scores dominant win in step-up fight on Linares-Crolla bill

Katie Taylor scored the biggest win of her career tonight in Manchester and properly moved into world title contention as her pro journey begins to heat up.

Fighting on the Jorge Linares v Anthony Crolla WBA lightweight title rematch undercard at the Manchester Arena, Taylor defeated her toughest opponent to date, Bulgarian Milena Koleva, scoring a wide points victory.

Making the step up to eight rounds for the first time (women’s world title fights are contested over ten), the Bray lightweight was dominant throughout against an opponent who had challenged for the IBF super featherweight title just two months ago.

Following eight rounds of domination, including one knockdown, Taylor claimed a one-sided points win.

Perhaps paying heed to the longer fight, and having boxed just three weeks ago, Taylor began slightly slower than in previous bouts. However, the Irishwoman was well on top in the opening rounds, paying plenty of attention to the body.

Stepping it up in the third and fourth, the big overhand right started to become more of a factor, however Koleva was landing her fair share, especially in the fifth.

The constant Taylor pressure finally started to tell in the sixth, with Koleva staggered numerous times as the 30 year old began to move through the geats

Going into the seventh for the first time in her career, Taylor almost immediately had the Eastern European down with a huge left hook stunning Koleva before a straight right eventually put her down.

Koleva survived the count and looked to cling on for the remainder of the round, and saw the final bell with Taylor, perhaps tired, stepping off in the final thirty.

Indeed Taylor did not seem to press for the finish in the final round, cruising somewhat to the easy win.

Going to the cards there was no doubt whatsoever, and Taylor was awarded the bout on a scoreline of 80:71.

The win sees Taylor improve her flawless professional record to 4(2)-0, with the game Koleva dropping to 9(3)-8(1)-1.

Next up for the Wicklow woman is another appearance on a big Sky Box Office undercard, her third, when she fights on the big Anthony Joshua v Wladimir Klitschko heavyweight title bill at Wembley Stadium on Saturday April 29th.

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