Katie Taylor Earns Big Win at Dublin's National Stadium

Olympic champion Katie Taylor marked her return to action for the first time since her gold medal triumph last August with a 28-5 win over Poland's Karolina Graczyk at the National Stadium in Dublin.

Taylor received a raucous reception at the purpose-built boxing arena which was filled to capacity on a night on which 15 national men's and women's champions were also crowned.

It was the kind of low-key comeback favoured by Taylor, who has admitted struggling with the fame foisted upon her since she underlined her status as her nation's favourite sports star with victory in London.

And while the atmosphere was never going to match the ear-splitting roar that greeted her final triumph over Russia's Sofya Ochigava, there was a real buzz in the venue as Taylor set about her work with characteristic aplomb.

Although Graczyk was not chosen to give Taylor too stern a test in her comeback bout - Taylor had comprehensively outpointed her in the EU Championships in 2011 - she was an experienced enough opponent to hold her own.

Taylor was caught by a couple of counters in the second round but soon found her range with her clubbing left hand, and seemed to relish the chance to work off the rust that had gathered from her six months out of the ring.

Another booming left at the start of the third prompted the referee's intervention to issue Graczyk a standing eight count, and Taylor's relentless accuracy and range of shots soon had the referee interrupting again.

The Pole's sparse shots seemed almost feeble in response, with every Taylor strike jolting her opponent back, and Graczyk did admirably well to make it all the way to the final bell.

It was the start of a busy weekend for Taylor, who is scheduled to fight again in Dublin on Sunday as she builds up to her competitive return, which is likely to come at the EU Championships in Hungary in June.

Taylor said: "The fans have been incredible for me over these last few years so it's great to fight in front of them. She was a quality opponent and it was good to get back in the ring."

Earlier, Olympic bronze medallist Michael Conlan claimed his third straight national title at flyweight, easing away for a comprehensive 20-9 win over Chris Phelan.

Conlan, who was beaten by Welsh rival Andrew Selby in a storming fight in the World Series of Boxing last month, is looking forward to increasing his schedule this year.

Conlan said: "It's just getting started for me this year and I've got a lot of big things ahead. I've had some great sparring in Belfast and I just want to keep up with my good form."

Beijing silver medallist Ken Egan announced his retirement after suffering his third straight finals defeat to Joe Ward at light-heavyweight, taking a standing count en route to a 25-5 defeat.

The 31-year-old Egan was bidding to become the first man to win 11 Irish senior titles and brought everything, but was simply outgunned by the sustained ferocity of an opponent 13 years his junior.

A clattering combination set up an assault which wobbled Egan in the second and, although the veteran recovered admirably, Ward kept swinging in the big scoring shots until the final bell.

Afterwards, Egan announced his retirement from the sport to a standing ovation, saying: "I'm retiring tonight in the ring. Joe is a big, strong lad and I'm glad I'm handing the mantle over to him."

Tags: Amateur Boxing image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Post a Comment - View More User Comments (0)
Top Headlines Hughie Fury: I'll Be World Champion, I'm a World Level Fighter! Kudratillo Abdukakhorov Rising in Ranks After Malaysia Win Whyte Shakes Head: Joshua is Not Going To Fight Wilder Next Sanchez: If Canelo Dominates Golovkin, I'll Admit GGG Got Old Ismael Salas Denies Rumors of Split With Jorge Linares March Madness shocker yields memories of giant ring surprises Ellerbe Concerned, Would Advise Mayweather To Avoid MMA McGregor Opens as 10-1 Favorite in Mayweather MMA Fight Wilder: I'm Convinced Joshua, Hearn Are Definitely Scared of Me! Buitrago Pulled From Hard Rock Card Over Murder For Hire Beef Frampton Slams Quigg, Not Buying His Excuse For Missing Weight Golden Boy Matchmaker Reacts to 'Neno' Calling Out Ryan Garcia Kautondokwa is Ready For War on Namibian Independence Card Roach Impressed With Jose Ramirez, Wants to Improve Defense Lolenga Mock, Mogens Palle Part Ways Over Money Isaac Ekpo, Rafael Mensah Train With McKinley, Praise Don King Povetkin's Manager: Drug Tests in Order, No Worries For Price Alberto Melian Drills Countryman Julian Aristule in Two Rounds Felix Verdejo's Trainer Expects His Fighter To Return Stronger Michael Dutchover Continues Winning Run at Doubletree Joshua vs. Parker - Giuseppe Quartarone Confirmed as Referee Sadam Ali vs. Liam Smith Finalized For May 12, Turning Stone Anthony Crolla vs. Edson Ramirez Set For Joshua-Parker Card Photos: Whyte, Bowne - Get Very Heated on 'Gloves Are Off' News: Sven Fornling, Brian Ceballo, Nikolai Potapov, More Daniel Jacobs vs. Maciej Sulecki - Undercard Information Arthur Abraham: I'm Not Ready To Retire, I Want World Title Again Joseph Parker: I'm Going To Come in Light and Fast vs. Joshua Gvozdyk: Stevenson is 40 & Inactive; Not Sure He'll Beat Jack Liam Smith: Canelo Ruined Legacy, Look How His Body Changed! Weekend Review: Jose Ramirez Rises, Felix Verdejo Crumbles Zou Shiming: I Don't Have The Courage To Retire at The Moment Lucas Browne Maintains Innocence in Drug Testing Beefs Floyd Mayweather Says He Will Apply For MMA License Horn's Coach: Crawford Will Be in For a Big Shock in First Round! Berchelt To Make Another Voluntary Defense, Then Roman Gennady Golovkin-Canelo Alvarez: Positive or Negative? WBC Prez: I'm Not Protecting Canelo, But We Have To Be Fair! Arum Says ESPN Momentum Building, Big Plans Ahead in 2018 Danny O'Connor Gets Off The Floor, Decisions Steve Claggett

Latest Active Forum Threads