Katie Taylor enlisted championship level talent to help her prepare for her latest adventure.
The lone pro loss suffered six months ago did not at all sit well with the Irish superstar, who left no stone unturned during training camp for her revenge-fueled rematch versus England’s Chantelle Cameron.
Among those who aided in the preparation was reigning WBO welterweight titlist Sandy Ryan, who was credited with helping the fully unified lightweight queen become a two-division undisputed champ with a ten-round, majority decision over Cameron (18-1, 8KOs) this past Saturday at 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland. The feat avenged a majority decision defeat just six months prior at the same venue, which marked Taylor’s long overdue homecoming though in what she described that night in May as a flat performance.
“The preparation was a lot better. The sparring was a lot better,” Taylor said of the difference in the two training camps. “We actually brought over Sandy Ryan for sparring the past few weeks. She was a vital part of our preparation.
“Last fight, you saw the worst of me and the best of Chantelle. It was still a close fight. [Saturday], you've seen the real me. When I box like this, nobody can beat me.”
Derby’s Ryan (6-1, 2KOs) proved to be a perfect fit for Taylor (23-1, 6KOs) and her team’s need to replicate the physical advantages posed by the taller and naturally bigger Cameron. At 5’8 ½”, Ryan is slightly taller than Cameron and has campaigned in the 140- and 147-pound divisions through more than two years as a pro.
The timing worked for the 30-year-old, who made her U.S. debut on a September 24 show in Orlando, Florida. Ryan was forced to settle for a highly questionable ten-round draw versus lineal, WBC and WBA welterweight champion Jessica McCaskill in a verdict nearly everyone felt should have gone the Brit’s way.
Still, her career has never soared higher between the praise she gained from that night and the work she was subsequently able to provide Taylor. It proved invaluable to the 37-year-old legendary figure from Bray,
“I’m so grateful for Sandy,” admitted Taylor, who lives and trains in central Connecticut. “She came over the last few weeks and helped me in preparation for this fight. That was a big help as well.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox