OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALLIST Katie Taylor rocked a sold-out Bord Gáis Energy Theatre this evening with a clinical performance to delight her fans.
Taylor was at her ruthless best as she comfortably beat Germany’s Maike Klueners in four rounds on the first of her “Road to Rio” promotions.
After returning to the ring on Friday night with a win in her first fight as Olympic champion, Taylor showed no signs of tiredness as her every punch drew cheers from the noisy home crowd.
As the shots continued to rain down in the second round Klueners, a two-weight national champion herself, was forced to take a standing count. Taylor continued to find her mark but the German battled bravely to the end where she received a warm reception from the packed arena.
Taylor won the last meeting between the two, an exhibition in Youghal in April 2011, but Klueners left this evening feeling that she put up a better challenge against the world number one.
“I was better,” the 26-year-old said afterwards. “A bit better, then a bit better… so beware,” she smiled towards Taylor’s corner.
Taylor returns to the same arena to headline another bill on 22 March and is also in Castlebar tomorrow to announce details of an upcoming date at the Royal Theatre.
Elsewhere on the 10-bout card, co-promoted by Brian Peters with Taylor’s father and coach Pete, London Olympians Adam Nolan and Paddy Barnes were also in action.
For Nolan the test was tougher than expected less than 48 hours after successfully defending his national welterweight title and completing a senior hat-trick. His opponent, Crumlin’s Martin Wall, was forced to pull out of the fight earlier today and was replaced by Phil Sutcliffe Jr, taking to the ring as an amateur one last time before his pro debut in two weeks.
“After having a toe-to-toe fight for three rounds on Friday night, the last thing I wanted to do was get into the ring with Phil Sutcliffe Jr,” Nolan said after the exhibition bout.
“The last two nights I haven’t had much sleep either, so I could have a little bit better preparation. Phil is a great fella as well and he’ll be a great fighter in the pro game.”
Two-time Olympic medallist Barnes, who was forced out of the National Championships by flu, returned with a solid performance to beat Aidan Metcalfe.
“He was tough enough,” Barnes said after taking the judges’ decision. “There were a few body shots and I could feel them hurt, but I’m happy enough.”