Katie Taylor wins by stoppage

Ciarán Gallagher reports from Wembley Arena

BY Ciaran Gallagher 21:53 Saturday 29 April 2017, 21:53 29 Apr 2017

Katie Taylor celebrates. Image: ©INPHO/Lawrence Lustig

Katie Taylor has recorded a seventh-round stoppage win over Germany’s Nina Meinke in their world-title eliminator at Wembley Stadium.

Fighting on the undercard of the world heavyweight championship clash between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko, Taylor also picked up her first pro title - the WBA female inter-continental lightweight belt - after overcoming her previously undefeated opponent.

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.

Katie Taylor and Nina Meinke. Image: ©INPHO/Lawrence Lustig

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.

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.

Katie Taylor and Nina Meinke. Image: ©INPHO/Lawrence Lustig

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.

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.

Katie Taylor lands a hook on Nina Meinke. Image: ©INPHO/Lawrence Lustig

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.
“It would be fantastic,” said Taylor on the prospect of a Dublin world-title opportunity. “Everyone at home is very excited at the prospect.

“There’s nothing like boxing in front of your home crowd. The support over these last few years has been unbelievable - boxing for a world title at home would be very special,” added the undefeated 30-year-old.

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