In each one of her four fights as a professional, Katie Taylor has been ultra aggressive, hyperactive and has pushed hard for exciting finishes, something that is so much more important in the paid ranks than in the amateurs.
Thus far, her endeavour has been rewarded with two stoppage victories. Not bad, but it’s perhaps a lower return than what might have been expected from an all-time great amateur in the early stages of a pro career.
However, we may be basing that latter statement on a comparison to the men’s game, which isn’t entirely fair. I say that, not because of some misguided idea that women don’t possess the power to score regular spectacular knockouts or as much killer instinct as their male counterparts, but simply because the rules make it more difficult to get an opponent out of there.
Speaking after her eight-round decision victory over the extremely durable Milena Koleva at the M.E.N Arena in Manchester on Saturday, Taylor herself suggested that she is being somewhat hampered by the fact that there are only two minutes in a round in women’s professional boxing, unlike in the men’s game, where each round consists of three minutes.
“Definitely if you had three-minute rounds you would have a better chance of stopping these girls, for sure,” said the former Olympic champion(via The Irish Sun). “It does make for a different fight as well. We spar three-minute rounds all the time.”
“I’m happy to go three-minute rounds,” added Taylor. “I think you would see a lot more knockouts in the women’s game then.”
Taylor’s trainer, Ross Enamait concurred.
“I’d love to see three-minute rounds, I hate the twos,” said the Connecticut-based coach.
“Most of these girls, you’re not going to hit them one time and knock them out cold. To knock the girls out you’re going to have to break them down to the body, and when you have an extra minute that’s a lot more time to get those fatigue stoppages.”
There was certainly a sense on Saturday, that Taylor could have overwhelmed and stopped her outgunned foe had she been given those extra 60 seconds in any one of several rounds. The fourth, sixth and seventh rounds all stand out as sessions where Koleva looked to be wilting in the latter stages.
Taylor has been compared to UFC star Ronda Rousey with great regularity since she made the transition to the paid ranks last year. It has little to do with style and nothing whatsoever to do with personality, but those comparisons are forecasts of sorts, suggesting that Taylor has the potential to impact female boxing the way that Rousey impacted women’s MMA – that is to bring it to a wider audience, garner it a more widespread acceptance and bring payouts for women closer to those granted to the men.
However, it looks as though she will first attempt to do something Rousey didn’t have to do, which is bring the rules in the women’s version of her sport in line with those used in the men’s. As, according to The Irish Sun, Taylor’s team plan on presenting a proposal to the British Boxing Board of Control to extend the length of rounds in the women’s game.
Taylor has already been a major force for change in her sport, as she was one of the major reasons why women’s boxing was added to the Olympic games. But that may have only been the beginning.