Katie Taylor is aiming to record her second professional win in double-quick time tonight, while the Bray woman’s opponent, Viviane Obenauf, has joked that she will not resort to any Mike Tyson ear-biting tactics in a bid to cause a shock upset.
Former Olympic champion Taylor has her second pro contest this evening just two weeks after her successful paid debut, with this evening’s undercard bout against Obenauf in the live TV ‘float bout’ on a Sky Box Office fight card.
That means a ringwalk time somewhere between 8-9pm and a slot high up on the pay-per-view TV bill topped by heavyweight Anthony Joshua’s IBF world heavyweight title defence against Texan Eric Molina.
Taylor’s bout is scheduled for six two-minute rounds, but the Bray woman does not plan on hanging around that long, despite the fact that her debut win — a third-round stoppage of Poland’s Karina Kopinska — means the five-time amateur world champion has yet to go beyond the four rounds she boxed before turning pro.
“I’d be happy enough to stop her in the first round,” said Taylor, quizzed on whether she would like to bag some more pro experience by going the distance. “I’ve been sparring six, eight and 10 rounds — three-minute rounds a lot of the time — so I am prepared for a tough six-round battle.
“But it’s always nice to get the stoppage… I have the power to hurt these girls,” added the 30-year-old, who is unfazed by the quick turnaround between fights.
“I could have five or six fights in the space of a week in the amateur game,” said Taylor citing her glittering amateur career, which ended in defeat in Rio. “They [her team] are talking about me having a busy year next year with five or six fights, but that’s nothing for me really. The quick turnaround isn’t a problem.”
Swiss-based Brazilian Obenauf carries a 9-1 record, her sole defeat on points to undefeated Italian Vissia Trovato last year. She has never been stopped.
The 30-year-old also recorded a points win over Kopinska — Taylor’s debut opponent — two months ago.
Quizzed on how she plans to upset the 1/200 favourite Taylor, the 25/1 underdog laughed: “With my fists — I won’t bite her ear like Mike Tyson!”
On a more serious note, Obenauf, 30, added: “I don’t fear fighting her… I don’t think I will [necessarily] stop Katie winning a [professional] world title, but I’ll try. I’ll give everything and my aim is to win… I’m here to fight.”
Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Promotions and their Sky Sports backers have grand plans for Taylor and the high-profile time slot of her bout is another sign of their eagerness to shine a light on the 30-year-old’s star potential.
“I see her piggybacking on the back of huge shows,” Hearn explained on his decision to put Taylor in a high-profile support slot to his star fighter, Joshua.
“She’s got everything. If it [female pro boxing] is going to work [as a business], we’ve got the perfect model to do it.”
Heavyweight champion Joshua also backed his fellow London 2012 gold medallist to make her mark. “I don’t want to say replicate, she’s her own woman, she’s a special woman,” said Joshua when quizzed on whether Taylor can replicate his transition from Olympic gold medallist to professional champion. “She’s going to go on and do major things because she’s talented and it seems she’s got the right people backing her.”
IBF world heavyweight champion Joshua says patience would be key to preserving his perfect knockout run tonight after weighing in almost a stone heavier than American challenger Molina.
“People are saying I’m the favourite but I don’t see it like that. I take him as a real challenger. I’ve got to stay calm, wait for him to fatigue and then unload.”
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