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Hearn hints at September world title fight for Taylor after another flawless display

The Bray boxer is set to make her American debut later this year but her next professional bout is likely to be in Manchester.

Taylor won with a fifth round stoppage on Saturday night.
Taylor won with a fifth round stoppage on Saturday night.
Image: Lawrence Lustig/INPHO

A SEPTEMBER WORLD title challenge is in the works for Katie Taylor after the Bray boxer moved to 3-0 at London’s O2 Arena last night.

Taylor recorded a dominant victory over Monica Gentili, stopping the Italian in five rounds on the undercard of the heavyweight clash between David Haye and Tony Bellew.

After her third professional victory in a little over three months, Taylor looks set for another three keep-busy bouts ahead of a planned world title tilt in September, according to Eddie Hearn.

An undercard slot on Anthony Crolla’s world lightweight title challenge in Manchester on 25 March is likely to be her next ring outing before she features at a sold-out Wembley Stadium on 29 April in support of the world heavyweight title clash between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko.

While a mooted St Patrick’s weekend date in New York did not materialise, Taylor does look likely to make her American debut May or June.

“We’re looking at the Crolla card and then also at Wembley, so the plan is to have those two fights and then to move on to a fight in America after that and then I think we’re ready (for a title shot),” said Matchroom promoter Hearn.

“That (US date) will probably be the end of May or maybe early June and then after that we’ll give her a rest and maybe we’ll come back in September and challenge for the world title,” added Hearn, who suggested that keen interest from US TV networks mean it should be easy to schedule a Stateside summer fight.

“Showtime and HBO both want her on the network, so whatever one suits out of that, but that’ll be the last one I think before the world title,” added the promoter.

Wembley SSE Arena Boxing Hearn and Taylor. Source: Steven Paston

Taylor made easy work of 39-year-old Gentili (6-6 heading into the fight), with the Bray native landing shots at will off the back foot in the early rounds before settling into a comfortable rhythm and working the body.

That opened the Italian up to a barrage of blows to the head in the fifth round, with referee Bob Williams calling a halt with less than 30 seconds remaining in the round.

“She’s obviously a late replacement and she was the best opponent we could get on such short notice,” said Taylor of Gentili, who was drafted in as a substitute for Milena Koleva after the Bulgarian world-title challenger pulled out of the bout due to illness.

“We had a better girl (Koleva) lined up, she boxed for a world title in her last fight, but it was unfortunate she had to pull out.

“I had to just step in there and face what was in front of me,” continued the former Olympic champion. “She was a very durable girl. She had a hard head. Definitely the body work was very effective as well and it was great to get the stoppage,” added Taylor, who followed instructions from coach Ross Enamait to break Gentili down.

“It was just a case of breaking her down, I didn’t want to rush things. You obviously have to be clever as well and I probably went away a bit from working the body in the second and third round.

Ross told me to keep working the body even if I didn’t feel like it was working because it was breaking her down and it was really good to get a stoppage in the end.”

Taylor was pleased to record her second stoppage in three fights ahead of her return to Enamait’s Connecticut base today for more work in advance of her busy fight schedule.

“I think so,” said Taylor when quizzed if she was happy with her performance. “I think the body work was very good tonight. Last time my hooks were a bit wide to the body.

“There’s definitely a few things to work on still, but overall it was a good performance.”

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Ciarán Gallagher

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