The Irish Eye: March part 1
March was a mammoth month in Irish boxing, so we are bringing you a special five-part edition of 'The Irish Eye' to make sure every base is covered... In part one Kane Clarke looks at a busy month for Katie Taylor and Ray Moylette ...
Katie Taylor continued her 'March' towards world titles with two wins during the month. On 4 March, Taylor secured a scintillating knockout of Monica Gentili in round five of a scheduled six-rounder.
The Matchroom-promoted starlet is benefiting heavily from fighting further up the card than most amateur turnovers would be used too, a stroke of genius perhaps from Eddie Hearn who is putting a lot of effort into building the profile of the amateur sensation, and women's boxing in general.
Appearing on her second PPV card in a row, Taylor boxed magnificently from the off, landing multiple punch combinations at ease to the head and torso of her teak-tough Italian opponent.
After four dominant rounds, the writing was on the wall for the shaven headed Gentili in the fifth, as Taylor wore her down with spiteful left-hooks to the body before finishing her off with a flurry of left and right hands to the head which sent Gentili crashing to the canvas. The game Italian rose to her feet to beat the count but the bout was rightly waved off by referee Robert Williams who had seen enough to know that there wouldn't be a dramatic change of events in the round and a half that remained of the contest.
Speaking after the bout, the Irish sensation agreed with the many observers who felt that she is already ready for a world title, declaring: “I think I am ready straight away. Obviously I need to get some ten-round fights in and step up the level of opponent. I feel I am ready now, but I will leave that up to Eddie [Hearn] and the team I just have to keep doing my job in the ring.”
The 30-year old lightweight was straight back into camp for her fourth outing in the professional ranks on 25 March, this time a step-up to eight rounds on the undercard of Anthony Crolla's rematch with Jorge Linares in the Manchester Arena. Once again there was a step-up in opponent, but again it was the Irishwoman who drew all the plaudits from the watching public as she put on a career best performance to easily outpoint former world title challenger Milena Koleva, dropping her in the seventh en route to a 80-72 win on referee Howard Foster's scorecard.
Speaking afterwards Taylor said: “I definitely needed the eight rounds. That was a great, great contest for me against a very strong opponent. All credit to my opponent, she gave it everything she had. Obviously we’re trying to progress fast so a good ten rounder I hope is next. Two or three fights and I hope to challenge for a world title, I definitely feel ready now.”
Bray's Taylor will now look forward to appearing on another massive PPV event on 29 April when Wladimir Klitschko faces Anthony Joshua for the WBA and IBF Heavyweight titles in front of an expected 90,000 spectators at Wembley Stadium.
Another recent exciting addition to the pro scene, Mayo's Ray Moylette, also made the perfect start to his professional career in March, with two wins inside two weeks.
The 2011 European amateur champion made his debut on 4 March the aptly named 'Connaught' Rooms in London under his new professional promotion team Assassin Promotions against tough journeyman Ivan Godor.
In the opening stanza, 'Sting Ray' started behind the jab and landed some powerful uppercuts, snapping back the head of the reigning Slovakian champion. In the second the 26-year-old Islandeady man started to open up with hurtful combinations to the body and head before Godor had a point deducted for hitting after the bell.
Moylette came out firing in the third and momentarily wobbled Godor with a left hook, who had another point deducted for use of the head. The Mayo man seen out the fourth comfortably to score a 40-34 points decision victory on referee Kieran McCann's scorecard.
Speaking to irish-boxing.com afterwards the Celtic Warriors gym starlet stated: “I definitely learned an awful lot from that fight – that I didn’t know I needed to learn. Little things, like dodging his head when it was there. He was using inside because I was hurting him inside, so a way out for him was to use his head. I didn’t to get drawn into that.
“I was a lot more patient than what people would have seen before. I didn’t need to go to war with a fella that was dangerous with his head. I hope to be out again in two weeks' time and I didn’t need to go taking any risks.”
Fast-forward to 18 March and Moylette made his American debut on the Murphys Boxing promoted 'St. Patrick's Clash' at the House of Blues in Boston, Massachusetts.
The Mayo man usually campaigns at super-lightweight, but moved up to welterweight to successfully outpoint local man Matt Probin, who has fought his last two contests at super-welter.
'Sting Ray' stalked his opponent for the first minute of the bout, before landing a huge uppercut that nearly took Probin's head off his shoulders and forced him to retreat as Moylette poured forward landing left and right hands, before pausing and landing a massive right hook that eventually did see Probin hit the canvas for the first time in his professional career. The game American rose to his feet to see out the round.
Probin upped his output in the second round, but more often than not was met with a stiff jab to the head. In the third, it was more of the same. Probin came forward trying to get his shots off, but Moylette was landing the classier work with the jab and lead left-hook, and comfortably seen out the final round landing the cleaner punches whilst looking cool and composed throughout.
The judges' scorecards read 40-35 (twice) and 39-36 in favour of Moylette as his record rose to 2-0 whilst Probin dropped to 2-3-1. Speaking post-fight, Moylette told irish-boxing.com: “It was a great fight, I really enjoyed it. I rocked him early in the first and, in fairness, I tried to take him out, I got a small bit excited. I’m still relatively raw in the pro scene and I probably expended a bit too much energy in the first round and I did tire.
“So, going into the second round I was a bit more cautious and a bit more wary. I came back in the fight in rounds three and four. I just stuck to my boxing, he was a tough guy. His main attribute was that he could just keep coming. I didn’t play to the crowd after the first round.”