(FEB 28) Katie Taylor takes on
Italy’s Monica Gentili at Super Featherweight on Saturday at
London’s iconic London’s O2 Arena and has described this
opportunity as ‘the stuff that dreams are made of’.
There is certain to be a ‘full house’ for the David Haye versus
Tony Bellew featured bout which like Taylor’s will be shown live
on Sky Sports Box Office.
"I love fight week and I find the
build-up so exciting," Taylor told Tuesday's Sportswomen show on
Sky Sports News HQ.
"These are things that I live for. When I was growing up as a
young girl these were the shows I dreamed of boxing on. (This
fight is expected about 20.30 hrs UK time).
"It's an incredible opportunity for me to be boxing on such a
big card on the undercard of David Haye vs Tony Bellew. It's
such a privilege to be boxing on such a big show again and I
just can't wait for it."
"In the future I have huge fights lined up including on the
Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko bill in a couple of
months”. That fight will be at Wembley and expects to attract a
90,000 sell out record crowd.
Photo of Gentili: Facebook
She is also penciled in for
another fight at the Manchester Arena on 25 March in Manchester
on the undercard of Anthony Crolla’s world lightweight title
rematch against Jorge Linares, "I want to make my stand in the
professional game and if I am going to be boxing for world
titles later on in the year then I need to be challenged and
tested and she is an opponent who will do that for me.
"I've been in the States for the last two months training with
my coach Ross Enamait and I've been working on building up a lot
of muscle. I've been punching a bit harder as well I think, and
just working on things I've needed to since I turned pro.
“It’s great to be on another big card in front of a huge crowd
at an arena like The O2,” said Taylor. “I think people are
really excited about the Haye-Bellew fight and the rivalry
between those guys and as a boxer these are the kind of nights
you want to be a part of. It’s a massive stage for me and I’m
really looking forward to it.
"Hopefully that will show at the weekend but I'm definitely in
great shape. I feel fitter and stronger and I'm boxing better
than I have done in a long, long time so I'm excited to step
into the ring at the weekend."
Tickets for the show sold-out within 55 minutes after going on
sale on December 19th despite the fact that no titles are at
This will be Taylor’s 3rd fight since joining the pros and comes
after the Bray woman stopped Poland’s Karina Kopinska in
November and a fortnight later overcame the challenge of
Brazilian Viviane Obenauf at the Manchester Arena.
Gentili in fact is a late replacement as the original opponent,
Bulgaria’s Milena Kovleva [9(3)-7(1)-1]. Kovleva was a
challenger last month for the IBF crown against reigning
titleholder Maiva Hamadouche but has withdrawn due to a recent
chest infection. Gentili though is not a good traveller having
lost all three of her bouts outside of Italy and she will have
never fought before such a large and enthusiastic crowd as she
faces this weekend.
Albeit tickets sold out within 55 minutes Irish fans are well
known for being able to ‘source’ tickets at the 11th hour for
more or less any sporting event and it will also be a first
opportunity for the majority of the British fans to see her in
“live” action for she has rarely appeared in Great Britain other
than in the 2012 Olympic Games when she defeated the host
nation’s Natasha Jonas en route to her Olympic Gold final defeat
of Russian Sofya Ochigava, now a Pro also.
Taylor has also been talking to Irish National broadcaster RTE
and reiterated her plans and hopes for the future:
“I try to take it one step at a time, one fight at a time and
I’m only thinking about this fight at the weekend, but it is
great to be on these big shows,” said the 30-year-old
“To have an opportunity to box in these big stadiums, live on
TV, is great for me and great for women’s boxing.
“Hopefully by the end of this year I’ll be boxing for a world
title - I have big plans and big dreams and I want to do
something special in this sport. This is the start of a big year
for me, I hope.
“I’m really enjoying it and I feel that my style is made for the
pro game; I’m adapting very well to it. I love the style of
boxing. There has been a few things, I have to concentrate a bit
more on power punches, but I love that and I enjoy the
“I’m just enjoying the opportunity to box on these big shows so
I really believe this is where I’m meant to be.”