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No trash talk from Katie Taylor - "I won't change who I am"
by Michael O'Neill
December 13, 2016

(DEC 13)  Ireland’s Olympic champion from London 2012 Katie Taylor took another small step in her quest for a World Professional title in 2017, by defeating gallant Brazilian Viviane Obenauf on Saturday at Manchester Arena.

She gained a unanimous (60:53) points decision over the Swiss-based woman from Rio who suffered a bad cut over the eye in the process. The bout had been scheduled for 8.30pm but it was 10.30pm before they entered the ring as promoter Hearn wanted to ensure that Taylor’s bout like that of World IBF Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua would also be on Showtime’s PPV in United States.

It was a very workmanlike performance from the Bray woman but she is capable of further improving in the Pros. Asked after the fight how she felt she performed Katie, in her usual honest style, had this to say to the waiting media:

“I thought I was a bit flat. I thought it was a mediocre performance, but a win’s a win. I got six good rounds out of it. I suppose I just have to take the positives from it, but I felt a bit tired in there tonight. It was a quick turnover from the last fight as well. I felt a lot better in the last fight, but this girl was obviously a better quality girl. She had a good winning record and was a lot more game.

I would have liked to put on a better performance, but at the same time it was great to be boxing on such a big card and what a privilege, to be boxing in front of 21,000 people. To be doing something that I absolutely love on this platform, it was a privilege. It’s great to finish the year with two good wins, and we’ll take the positives.”

Her United States trainer-coach Ross Enamait told ‘ The Irish Times’:

“She was better off being on the front foot,” said Enamait. “That girl didn’t fight very well going backwards and she really didn’t know how to fight inside.

“If you wait on that girl you’re really going to give her chances to be awkward. She can give girls problems. You know she was a pretty strong girl. She didn’t counter very well, she was taking shots, but durable.

“There is obviously a reason people don’t fight every two weeks,” added the American. “It was a good experience for her and they were six tough rounds. She still dominated the fight so I was happy with that.”

On her return Ryanair flight from Manchester to Dublin the flight Captain congratulated Taylor with the rest of the passengers and crew joining in the applause.

After a short rest she was back in front of the media, and had this to say on her future when asked if she was planning to “trash talk” her opponents in future bouts her response was a very clear but firm NO. The Bray fighter told Newstalk’s “Off The Ball” :

"The most important thing is I don't have to change who I am for anyone and I'm not going to compromise that as well. So I'm just trying to be myself and take it in my stride," she said.

The Wicklow woman concluded : "It's definitely not who I am. Obviously the likes of Conor McGregor can pull that off. He's got the personality for it. Myself, I'm very conscious about who I am and I don't have to compromise who I am to be successful in this sport.

"To enjoy what I do, I have to be myself and I'm not going to change who I am. I am who I am and if people don't like that, then so be it. I hope people come to watch you boxing because of the skill that I show in there and because of my boxing ability and not because of anything else."

Of the disappointment in the Rio Olympics and in the other ‘amateur’ bouts she lost in 2016, she offered this opinion:

"I just wasn't really enjoying my boxing this year and as I was waking up, every day was a burden to go training," she said, although she praised the coaches (Antia, Bolger, Conlan) and High Performance Unit's work with her.

"I just wasn't really enjoying my boxing and that obviously shows in your performances as well and you have to enjoy what you're doing and I just lost a bit of passion for it really. I think that was really the main thing for me."

So what plans now for Taylor, trainer-coach Ross Enamait, Promoter Eddie Hearn and Manager Brian Peters?

Peters told ‘ The 42’ :

“The IABA and the Irish Sports Council have been very good to Katie and she’s been very good for them, and they’ve worked hand in hand to help Katie achieve what she did. But money-wise, you’re into a whole new stratosphere here, this is a whole new ball game altogether.”

He knew that Sky Sports TV was onto a winner with Taylor:

“If I was to say to you name the three biggest sports stars ever in Ireland, you’ve got to put in Roy Keane, Brian O’Driscoll… But there are not too many that a six-year-old girl looks up to, that an 86-year-old granny tunes into — women and men — so Katie has kind of an unusually broad spectrum of people that engage in following her.”What next then?

Peters told ‘the Irish Sun’ that she was lined up for a fight on the Gennady Golovkin undercard on March 18th in Madison square Garden :

“I’m trying to get Katie associated with AJ, Triple G . . . KT. It rolls off the tongue. If you want to be associated with any fighters today, who do you pick?

Floyd Mayweather, Conor McGregor, AJ, Triple G and probably Andre Ward . . . if you were to pick five fighters that you’d like to be associated with.”

Eddie Hearn meantime is continuing to have discussions with other top United States promoters and believes that Taylor will be a very popular boxer in the United States during the coming year.

First though he wants her to have another bout – or maybe two – in the United Kingdom and plans that she appears on the undercard of his next big show.In Manchester he said:

“Tonight is as good as a time as any to announce what’s next”, before announcing that Anthony Joshua will meet Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium on April the 29th, and again on Sky Sports box Office.So that’s in the near future though perhaps Taylor may have another ‘warm up’ fight in London or elsewhere in UK before that.

Former IABA ‘Amateur’ International colleague, Jason Quigley now a Pro himself in the United States is also very positive about Taylor’s future saying :

“Katie Taylor is amazing, she's doing a phenomenal job. Everyone will now see what she's about - she's the most down to earth person you'll ever meet. She's such a genuine person who puts in the hard work - she knows what she wants, and goes out to get it. I wish her the best, and I'd love to share big cards in Ireland with Katie.”

The last words – from Katie herself as Her focus now switches she looks ahead to Madison Square Garden on March 18th.

"I hope the chance is still there, but obviously I'd like to get out before then as well. I'll sit down with Brian Peters and Eddie Hearn and see what the plan is, but I'm happy to step back in the ring whenever."

‘You Tube’ Interview with Kugan Cassius of iFLTV after the Obenauf bout

The Taylor-Obenauf fight in pictures courtesy of ‘The Irish Times’ :


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