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'Katie will have no problem': Taylor isn't the first Irish woman to face Kopinska

Monaghan’s Christina McMahon tells us what she remembers about Katie’s first pro opponent.

KATIE TAYLOR OPENS her professional boxing career in Wembley on Saturday, and opposition comes in the form of Polish fighter Karina Kopinska.

Katie Taylor Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Of course, we all know everything there is to know about Katie Taylor – in short, Olympic gold medalist, five-time world champion, six-time European champion and one of Ireland’s greatest sportswomen – but we don’t know a whole lot about her first professional opponent.

Kopinska has fought professionally on 24 previous occassions, and of those bouts she has won seven, lost 14 and drawn three.

Of all her fights, the 27-year-old has won just 8% by knock-out. She’s ranked 38th in the world featherweight rankings. In 2014, she challenged WBC super-fatherweight champion Eva Wahlstrom for the belt; she took her the distance, but lost out on points.

Kopinska also has experience of fighting in London, going between the ropes in York Hall in February 2014. She made her professional debut in April 2012, but lost out to Danish flyweight Fadia Idrissi.

What’s more, Taylor is not the first Irish opponent Kopinska has faced. Back in March 2013, she locked gloves with Monaghan native Christina McMahon in Dundalk.

mcmahon Source: Christina McMahon

McMahon won the eight-round bantamweight fight on points and looks back fondly on the night.

“It was in the Fairways Hotel. It was the main event, which was actually something we were very proud of because I sold the most tickets for the show. It was kind of a local show for me as well, because Dundalk is close to Carrickmacross,” McMahon tells The42.

“It was a battering match. It was eight rounds, and it was a war.”

The 42-year-old moved up two weights to get the fight under her belt, while Kopinska moved down one.

When asked what she distinctly remembers about the Polish boxer, McMahon is quick to answer.

“She doesn’t give up, I remember that. Even when I was getting the better of her she was resilient.”

Source: BoxingIrelandDotCom/YouTube

And the 2015 WBC World Interim Champion believes Taylor should do the business in her first professional fight.

“Maybe (Kopinska) was resilient against a smaller girl, you have to remember this girl was 5’6 or 5’7, I was 5’2 coming from a 52kg girl, I just jumped up to get the fights.

“Katie Taylor will be fighting this girl at a stone heavier than I fought her.

“I took a chance and moved up weights. I think if I can beat her at a heavier weight, I think Katie will have no problem.”

“And the second thing is, Katie’s got an awful lot of experience. She’s had a very busy year of fighting so she’s not coming out of coldness, it’s not like she’s a year out and then she’s starting again. That’s another thing that would be in her favour.”

McMahon, who turned professional when she hit the amateur cut-off age at 34, also had some advice to offer Taylor as she turns professional.

“Take each fight as it comes, don’t be thinking too far ahead and get excited and then maybe fail at a hurdle on the way.

“Definitely have a vision and a goal but put it to the side, and just enjoy it – enjoy the journey, enjoy each fight instead of where the end is or where you’re going, just enjoy the journey as you’re doing, and enjoy the excitement of reaching to the top.”

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Katie Taylor fit and ready to embark on exciting journey with a point to prove

Katie Taylor in line to fight at Madison Square Garden on St Patrick’s weekend

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About the author:

Emma Duffy

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