By Geoff Burkett (@geoffburkett)
This was all about the professional debut of Irish amateur star Katie Taylor. However there was a good card of 50/50 fights all be it at domestic level. First up was Ben Hall facing a high-risk opponent in Carson Jones for the opening live bout of the night. The Oklahoma man famously gave Kell Brook a scare in their first fight and also holds a stoppage win over Brian Rose. The fight was at Light-Middleweight or Super Welterweight.
Jones made the ring look so small with relentless pressure Hall did have some success in the third round when he appeared to stun Jones with a counter but Jones managed to finish the round strong. Jones kept marching forward and Hall looked uncomfortable in there. Hall seemed to hurt his hand and look as if his corner would pull him out. The end came in the 6th round when Hall’s corner threw in the towel as it looked like Hall had hurt his shoulder. Was Hall looking for a way out???
Up next at Super-Featherweight Martin J Ward defended his British title against Ronnie Clark. The fight went the distance. There is no doubting Ward’s credentials he was a top amateur, blistering hand speed, excellent foot work, picks his shots nicely but you feel he just lacks a punch top make the step up to the next level. Anyway the fight it’s self was a tail of two half’s. Ward’s slick boxing gave him the lead in the first half of the fight but as the fight wore on Clark gained momentum in the second half managing to score a knock down in the 10th round. In the final round Clark had Ward hurt again but couldn’t finish and you felt he definitely needed the stoppage to get the victory. The final scores on the judges’ cards read 115-113, 114-113 and 116-112 all in favour of Ward.
On the night Katie Taylor vs Karina Kopinska was the Co main event of the night but in hearts and minds of the Irish public watching it was the main event and most would have tuned out after her one sided 3rd Round TKO. They could be forgiven for doing so and in truth wouldn’t have missed much in the main event which saw Ohara Davies extend his unbeaten record to 14 wins and collected the WBC Silver title after a one-sided fight and all three scores reflected that 120-108 from the judges. The fight was at Super-Lightweight and Davies promised an explosive end in the build up but never delivered although throughout the fight you felt if he stepped up a gear or two he could of got his opponent out of there at any time. Take nothing away from Andrea Scarpa who may have lacked ambition but certainly didn’t lack a chin. I will always commend a fighters ability to endure.
Katie Taylor is set to be the poster girl for Woman’s Pro Boxing and didn’t disappointed. After years of getting used to seeing her in the amateur colours of blue or red and the headgear. It was refreshing to see her in all black and without the headgear which male amateurs no longer wear. Unfortunately women still have the burden of in the amateur ranks. She entered the ring to the AC/DC track ‘Thunder’ and looked calm and focused. When announced to the crowd she received a great reception from the Wembley fateful.
Once the action started Taylor didn’t rush her work as we seen from many pros in their first fight. She pushed her opponent back to the ropes straight away mixing it up from body to head. Displaying some nice combinations. In the 2nd Round Taylor’s hands dropped by her side realising there was little coming back from Kopinska. It was now a matter of time. Taylor’s left hand couldn’t miss. In the 3rd Round the punches were having an obvious effect on the Pole her noise well bloodied at this point. Taylor backed her up to the ropes unloading at will and the ref wisely stepped in to save Kopinska from further punishment.
In Taylor’s post fight interview she gave an honest and accurate assessment of the night and layed out future plans.
“It’s an absolute privilege to be here,” she told Sky Sports. “This is obviously a huge night for women’s boxing”. “This is my pro debut, I don’t want to get too carried away. “This is only the start and I hope to be a multi-weight champion.” And you feel without a shadow of a doubt she will achieve her goal.
I can’t wait to see her pro career unfold and she has the platform on Sky to achieve greatness!
As this is a guest article we would like every reader to please leave feedback for the article in the comment box below. Thanks in advance. #TWBW