Taylor at 2-0; Beats Obenauf in Manchester

By Jim McGrady 

In her second pro outing in two weeks, Katie Taylor (2-0, 1 KO) put on another entertaining contest with a six round shut out over Viviane Obenauf (9-2, 4 KO’s) at the Manchester Arena in the U.K.

Again displaying amazing hand and foot speed, lighting fast combinations, and almost effortless lateral movement, the Irish lightweight out classed Obenauf en route to a 60-53 decision courtesy of referee Darren Sarginson, who was the lone scorekeeper in the bout.  Taylor worked the body effectively, especially with the left hook, which also scored well upstairs, resulting in a second round knockdown.

Obenauf put up a sturdier challenge than Karina Kopinska did in Taylor’s pro debut, and to give credit where its due, she came to fight.  Despite the knockdown, a cut eye in the fifth (clash of heads), and generally being out fought all the way through, she kept punching until the final bell.  She put up the best fight she could, but when playing the aggressor, was often left lunging at a missing target, as Taylor would slide out of the way and counter.

The contest was broadcast not only on Sky Sports in the U.K., but also by Showtime here in the States; that’s a pretty big deal if you’re unaware…a huge deal.

Taylor is the second female Olympian to take to the pro ranks; America’s two-time gold medal winner Claressa Shields was successful in her pro debut last month when she beat amateur rival Franchon Crews by four round decision in Las Vegas.   

 “La Roca” Notches Eighth Defense: The Women’s Weekly Wrap Up

By Jim McGrady 

WBC light flyweight champion Ibeth “La Roca” Zamora Silva (27-5, 12 KO’s ) successfully defended her title for the eighth time Saturday night, stopping previously undefeated Nina Stojanovic (9-1, 3 KO’s) in the third round of their scheduled 10 round contest at Gimnasio Municipal in Mexico.  Body shots by Silva dropped the challenger in the second frame, with the champ wrapping things up at the 1:17 mark of the following round.  It was her third straight stoppage win and her shortest fight in five years.

In a contest for the vacant WBO bantamweight title, Sabrina Maribel Perez (15-0-1, 2 KO’s) remained undefeated and claimed the belt with a 10 round unanimous decision over Alondra Garcia (16-3-1, 1 KO) in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  Both fighters came in with lesser titles to their credit; Garcia as the WBC Youth light flyweight title holder and Perez as the interim WBO champ in the super bantamweight class.  Final scores were 97:93, 98:92, and 96:94 all for Perez.

Eun Hye Lee (9-1, 4 KO’s) of South Korea scored a second round TKO of Thailand’s Nongnun Mor Krungthepthonburi (5-4-1) in front of a home crowd at the Seohee Youth Culture Center in Icheon City.  Lee scored two knockdowns in the second round before the fight was waved off; the win earned Lee the previously vacant WIBA flyweight title, she briefly held the WBO light flyweight belt in 2015.

Katie Taylor’s Pro Debut: “It Couldn’t Have Gone Any Better”

By Jim McGrady

Irish Olympian Katie Taylor (1-0, 1 KO) kicked off her pro career with a bang, scoring a third round stoppage over Karina Kopinska (7-15-3, 2 KO’s) at Wembley Arena in London.

It was a one sided contest for as long as it lasted; the 2012 Olympic gold medalist displayed impressive hand and foot speed, mounting a body attack early on and scoring with incredibly fast combinations before the scheduled six round bout was stopped halfway through the third frame.  She was barely hit by Kopinska, a 25 fight pro that had only been stopped once prior to this contest

Taylor entered the pros after a highly successful amateur career that includes an Olympic gold medal, five World Amateur Championship gold medals, and and six gold medals in the European Amateur Championships.  She finished third in the 2016 World Amateur Championships and lost in the quarter finals of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

 Putting this year behind her, she’s now focused on becoming just as successful in the paid ranks. Competing now as a lightweight, she’s already voiced her desire to become multiple division world champion and fight for a world title in Ireland.

Promoter Eddie Hearn summed up the impressive display perfectly: “it couldn’t have gone any better…forget women’s boxing, forget men’s boxing, it’s just boxing, and Katie Taylor can fight”.  She’s scheduled to face an opponent to be named in two weeks at Manchester Arena in Lancashire and Hearn also has plans to bring her Stateside next year.