Peerless Katie Taylor wins Irish title against exciting Shauna O’Keeffe
Katie Taylor made more history on Friday night as she claimed the National Elite Women’s Lightweight title at the National Stadium. Her opponent was 21 one year old Shauna O’Keeffe from Tipperary who can be proud of her efforts.
Despite having four other Irish titles this was the first one Taylor had to compete for in the ring.
It was a tight opening round as the orthodox Taylor and southpaw O’Keeffe settled into the bout.
From round two onwards Katie Taylor demonstrated her class. She threw slick combinations that O’Keeffe couldn’t see coming. At the end of the round she landed a wicked left hook but O’Keeffe took it well.
The five time AIBA world champion boxed beautifully throughout the four rounds. She kept her hands low and occasionally stuck her chin out, daring her opponent to unload. It was reminiscent to when Sugar Ray Leonard fought Roberto Duran in their rematch.
Taylor’s head movement was excellent and her counters were too efficient for O’Keeffe to steal an upset.
This was Taylor’s first encounter since she beat Estelle Mossely of France in last summer’s European games.
She claimed a unanimous victory in a display that was poised and appealing to the boxing purists.
The 29 year old is now the Irish, World, European and Olympic champion.
Her opponent Shauna O’Keeffe held her own and seemed to thrive in the ring with the Irish legend.
After the contest O’Keeffe spoke to Fightstore Media.
She said: “I feel unbelievable there are no words to describe how I’m feeling. I wanted to go in and perform and put on a good show and that’s exactly what I did. Nobody in the whole of Ireland can take the experience that I just got off her.
“This is all work for next year it’s going to be a big one. I’m only back in the ring; I had a serious operation in March. (Ligament reconstruction on knee) It was now or never, I’m 21 so if I want to do it, it needs to be now.
I was out of boxing for two years because of the injury and I worked hard and I’m back. I feel unbelievable and have more belief in my boxing than ever.”
“The whole of Clonmel have been following me every fight and they all got on a bus to watch me tonight and they helped me in the ring.
“I plan on going into next year and taking over the 60kg. I wish Katie Taylor all the best and I hope I fill her boots. She told me to keep training hard and she told me I’m the future. “