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Unstoppable! Katie Taylor wins yet again and claims her first pro belt

She overcame Germany’s Nina Meinke at Wembley Stadium.

Ciarán Gallagher reports from Wembley Stadium

KATIE TAYLOR HAS claimed her first professional title with a seventh-round stoppage win over Germany’s Nina Meinke at Wembley Stadium.

Fighting on the undercard of the world heavyweight championship clash between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko, Taylor claimed the WBA female inter-continental lightweight title after overcoming her previously undefeated opponent in their world-title eliminator.

The win sees the former Olympic champion move to 5-0 as a pro after just 22 weeks as a pro, with 23-year-old southpaw Meinke dropping to 5-1.

Taylor walked to the ring to a mix of James Brown’s ‘It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World’ into her regular entrance music of AC/DC’s ‘Thunderstruck’ just as she had prior to her win over Milena Koleva in Manchester last month.

Katie Taylor and Nina Meinke Source: Lawrence Lustig/INPHO

A significant but scattered crowd were present for the 10-rounder (two-minute rounds), although a large amount of the 90,000-capacity attendance were only getting to their seats during the bout while many remained empty.

Still, those present greeted Taylor’s stoppage victory with a loud cheer as the Bray native tees up a summer Stateside bout before a likely world-title shot in Dublin towards the end of the year.

Boxing against a southpaw for the first time as a pro, Taylor spent the first round trying to figure out her cagey opponent. While the German had some success with left hooks, Taylor was the aggressor from the opening bell.

The second round went much the same way before the third was briefly halted after the bell to open the round as Meinke had returned to action without her gumshield.

A native of Spandau, the 23-year-old was holding her own early on although she appeared reluctant to engage with the advancing Taylor, who attempted to tease an opening.

Taylor had bagged eight rounds in her most recent outing – that comprehensive points victory over Bulgarian Koleva four weeks ago – and it seemed as though the 30-year-old was keen on upping her pro experience further as she moved through the gears by the midway stage of the bout.

By this point Meinke was marked up over her left eye as Taylor’s short right hands gave the German trouble – although TV replays appeared to show that an accidental headclash caused the cut near her eyebrow.

Katie Taylor and Nina Meinke Source: Lawrence Lustig/INPHO

The flow of blood only increased Meinke’s apprehensive approach. While she remained game, the 23-year-old was throwing very few punches of note and Taylor’s landed left hooks at will in the sixth.

The Irishwoman’s short right hands had also continued to pepper the face of Meinke, who was swollen above and bellow her left eye heading into the seventh.

With the Bray native continuing to dominate in the penultimate round, referee Howard Foster stepped in to stop the contest at 57 seconds of the seventh as Meinke failed to return any punches.

It was by no means a sensational performance, but the former Olympic champion looked at ease throughout and will take heart from the ease of her victory over an opponent hailed as her most challenging to date prior to the bout.

Competing in her first scheduled 10-rounder – the distance for female championship fights – Taylor insisted after the bout that “I feel like I’m ready right now to box for a world title”, hailing the occasion as the “greatest night of her career so far”.

Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn reiterated his intention to bring Taylor to the US for a Stateside bout in the summer before a homecoming world-title shot – likely to be in October or November – in Dublin later this year.

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Ciarán Gallagher

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