Moments of the year: Power and glory back with Katie Taylor

Bray fighter back on top of the world after win over Anahi Esther Sanchez

 

Highlight

The wonder of it was that it was no surprise. It was much more a moment of reclamation and for Katie Taylor moving into a familiar space.

From the ashes of Rio and an amateur career that faltered only at the very end, Taylor set upon a new path with the familiar sweeping ambitions that she once held and achieved as a five-time world champion and Olympic gold medallist.

But professional boxing was uncertain and new, unexplored ground and Taylor at 30-years-old found herself having to start from the beginning again, to answer all the questions she once did as an amateur about depth and competition.

The approval Taylor has had to win as a professional throughout the year had already been earned as an amateur. But she wasn’t given those credits.

From the outside, just as people had come to understand and know the central actors in her amateur career, she launched into another world that few knew anything about.

Karina Kopinska, Viviane Obenauf, Monica Gentili, Milena Koleva, Nina Meinke and Jasmine Clarkson all came between November 2016 and July 2017.

It took Taylor just eight months of knocking them over, two going the distance before Argentina’s Anahi Esther Sanchez agreed to come to Cardiff and face her on the undercard of Anthony Joshua.

The downside was that Taylor won the title on the scales as Sanchez did not make the lightweight limit. In the ring Taylor won the fight in the second round when Sanchez dropped to her knee following a left to the body.

Taylor went to win the fight on points 99-90 but in that second round, Sanchez showed that Taylor was able to hit. Obenauf had said in Manchester after Taylor’s second fight that she had not hurt her.

Within months of training with Ross Enamait having relocated to the US, Taylor had begun to find the power to make her a serious threat to anyone in the lightweight division.

While he glory was stolen at the weigh-in, Taylor’s real potential came to light in the second round. That is what opponents now see, the Taylor speed and aggression, which was always there, is incrementally being backed with greater power.

Lowlight

On June 14th a retired champion in his 40s agreed to fight a UFC champion at the peak of his career for a multi-million dollar purse in Las Vegas. There is crossover but MMA is in the entertainment industry, boxing in the sports industry. With the fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor the lines for boxing were blurred and all for a dreary fight with a predictable outcome. The gullibility of fans for empty rhetoric and hype was proven.

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