Katie Taylor makes it three from three with routine victory
The Bray fighter was always in control against Italy’s Monica Gentili in London
Katie Taylor in action against Monica Gentili during their out at the O2 Arena in London. Photo: Peter Cziborra/Reuters
Fighting on the undercard of the David Haye v Tony Bellew heavyweight bout in the O2 Arena in London, Taylor outclassed her 39-year-old opponent before dropping her one minute 31 seconds into the fifth round.
The Italian got to her feet after five unanswered blows to the head but the referee rightly stepped in to stop what was already a one way fight.
Taylor totally dominated from the first round, Gentili for the most part showing greater durability than threat. Taylor worked her jab from the off and backed it up with stinging left hooks to the body and head.
Everything about the 30-year-old from Bray oozed class against an opponent who had been brought in at short notice and was on the night no real threat. Taylor’s movement and hand speed almost made the contest a mismatch, Gentili landing no punches of significance throughout.
“I thought it was a very good performance. The body work paid off. She was a very durable girl and it was good to get the stoppage in the end,” said Taylor.
“This was the first time I have had a proper training camp. I definitely felt sharper in there. I felt I could go 10 rounds. I think I’m ready to box for a world title straight away.”
It was a better performance than her last outing, a reflection of her growing experience under American coach Ross Enemait. It was also important for Taylor to stop Gentili and demonstrate that her punches hurt as much as score points.
She was never in any danger and in long stretches of the scheduled six round bout demonstrated a variety of shots, Gentili at times just a brave punch bag moving forward and taking punishment.
But the win will add to Taylor’s confidence before she fights in Manchester this month and again in April on the uncard of Anthony Joshua’s world title fight against Wladimir Klitschko in April in a 90,000 sell out in Wembley Stadium.
“I don’t think I had too many heavy shots and now I’m looking forward to a busy few months,” said Taylor afterwards.
The first round was all Taylor, her left jab setting up left hooks which Gentili did little to avoid. Taylor worked the Italian’s head and body and while she inched forward towards the European, World and Olympic amateur champion, Taylor totally controlled the match.
Variety and speed were Taylor’s hallmark until the ill-fated fifth when the sheer volume of shots finally prised open Gentili’s guard and in a blizzard of blows the Italian went down.
Although she bravely got to her feet, the referee had one look and waved the fight to a halt. It is three from three for Taylor and still moving forward.