Updated at 22.47
KATIE TAYLOR EASED to her third pro victory with a fifth-round stoppage of Italian Monica Gentili in London tonight on the undercard of the Sky Box Office heavyweight showdown between David Haye and Tony Bellew.
Wearing black shorts with gold trim, Taylor entered to the sounds of AC/DC’s ‘Thunderstruck’.
The former Olympic champion dominated the opening round, peppering the pursuing Gentili off the back foot with a number of quick right hooks landing to the head of the Italian.
The pattern continued into the second round, with Taylor working the body before throwing hooks to the head, although Gentili did not seem troubled as she continued to march on.
The third started at a high pace before the bout began to be fought at close quarters as anticipated by Team Taylor in advance.
Both fighters traded blows to the body, with the Irishwoman coming off better thanks to her speed and footwork.
By the fourth round, Taylor was throwing short right hands and upper cuts at ease.
Gentili continued to be game — continually moving forward, but the Italian — who carried a 6-6 record into the fight — was landing little of note.
Midway through the fifth, Taylor landed a barrage of punches, with Gentili going to the canvas following two particularly heavy hooks to the head and a sharp right hook/cross felling the Italian.
Referee Bob Williams let the Italian get to her feet, but with the 39-year-old clearly hurt, the official rightly called a halt at 1min 35secs of the round.
The Bray woman’s bout was installed as a TV ‘float’, meaning it had no official set time, but it is believed that Sky were keen on maximising Taylor’s exposure by having her high up the bill — the same approach they took to her last bout in December on an Anthony Joshua fight card.
Looking ahead to her busy schedule, which will see the 30-year-old fight later this month in Manchester ahead of an undercard date at Wembley Stadium in April, Taylor said: “I’m hoping to progress very quickly and I am looking to make my mark in every fight, so I need to be tested if I’m going to win titles.
“The professional game is much more ruthless than the amateurs. People watching want to see knockouts, they like to see blood, I suppose, so I am learning to be more ruthless,” added the Bray woman.
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