How has Katie Taylor's style evolved?

We look at her progression from amateur icon to professional contender

BY Simon Maguire 09:35 Monday 27 March 2017, 9:35 27 Mar 2017

Katie Taylor in action against Milena Koleva. Image: ©INPHO/Lawrence Lustig

Katie Taylor is now four fights into her professional career and is making the transition into the paid ranks look remarkably smooth.

Four fights have brought four straightforward wins with two stoppages and her sights are already set on challenging for a world title in the near future.

As the most decorated female amateur of all time, Taylor's style has clearly changed since her move onto the professional circuit.

The Bray native primarily used two tools during her amateur days. Her hands were held high and her left jab pincered out almost every other second checking the distance to her opponent. Coupled with her explosive footwork, she picked off 99% of those who stood opposite her at will.

Only Russia's Sofya Ochigava can claim to have brought Taylor to the brink on multiple occasions.

Ireland's Katie Taylor (Red) in action against Sofya Ochigava of Russia. Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Her lightning quick footwork allowed for her left hook to clip her opponents as they rushed in - often in desperation as the fights wore on. In her amateur days, once she got in front on the scorecards, she was rarely caught. 

The 2012 Olympic women's lightweight gold medallist and five-time World Champion may have come up short in her attempt to defend her Olympic title in Rio but circumstances outside her control clearly influenced her partial decline in standards. Boxing is a mental game as much as a physical one and both need to be up to scratch to complement the other.

The rest of the world had finally raised their game to an extent that even if the Irishwoman was only 1% off her best - she would be in for a real scrap.

A change was needed and her entrance into the professional ranks has seen a change to her style as well. The fundamentals are still there. The lightning fast footwork and her trademark left hook have been highlights of her winning streak thus far.

However there are also distinct differences to her approach under the tutelage of Ross Enamait. In defence, she mirrors certain aspects of Floyd Mayweather's approach.

She will often lean forward hands down almost goading her opponent to lunge at the target and in the blink of an eye she pivots backwards and lands a left hook. Just ask Viviene Obenhauf. 

Katie Taylor in action against Viviane Obenauf. Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

After landing a clean blow she then backs off, moves to either side and resets. The tactic can be infuriating for those in the opposite corner as well as offering Taylor the chance to get a breather between her swift attacks.

Picture by: Eric Jamison/AP/Press Association Images

She hasn't quite adopted Mayweather's patented shoulder-roll defence yet but it's early days in her new career. 

Offensively, she is very calculated just as she was in her amateur days although she lets loose more now.

Katie Taylor in action against Karina Kopinska. Image: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

In a similar way to Manny Pacquiao, she jumps onto her lead foot firing a jab before following through with a power punch from her stronger hand.

Picture by: Eric Jamison/AP/Press Association Images

The combination of the two have almost made her the complete the boxer - four fights into her professional career. Imitation is the best form of flattery and she is mirroring the trademark moves of the two best fighters of the last decade. 

There's still a lot more to come from the Irishwoman and we get to watch it all unfold. 

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