©INPHO/Cathal Noonan
Katie Taylor

Taylor shows her class in first fight as Olympic champion

Katie Taylor comfortably beat Poland’s Karolina Graczyk in a four-rounder on National Elite Finals night in Dublin.

KATIE TAYLOR PROVED to be a class apart as she returned to the ring with a win in her first fight as Olympic champion.

Two days before she headlines a sold-out card in Dublin, Taylor delighted a packed National Stadium with a 28-5 win over Karolina Graczyk of Poland.

With no opponent willing to take on the world number one for the Irish lightweight title, Graczyk accepted the four-round challenge in a rematch of her 2011 European Union final defeat.

The result stayed the same as Taylor, guided by her coach and father Pete from her corner, was rarely out of her comfort zone before winning easily on the judges’ cards.

If there were any nervy moments, they came seconds after the opening bell when Taylor was rocked back on to her heels by a clean left from Graczyk. It was a warning shot from the Pole, herself a six-time national champion, but it proved to be little more than that.

Taylor quickly responded in kind, though the contest was surely closer than the 17-3 margin the judges scored it at the half-way point. From then on the result was little more than a formality and twice in the third round, Taylor forced her opponent to take a standing count.

“I’ve done rounds and rounds of sparring over the last few months but there’s nothing like getting into the ring and boxing, just getting the ring rust out,” Taylor told RTÉ afterwards.

“Karolina was a great quality opponent as well and congratulations to her for such a great fight.

“I can’t wait to get back into the ring on Sunday as well. It’s going to be a huge night.”

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