Bragging Rights: Katie Taylor Defends Against Miriam Gutierrez
The “0” has to go! Undefeated, All World champion, Katie Taylor puts her multiple belts on the line tomorrow night at Wembley Arena, London.
The undisputed Lightweight champ, the pride of Ireland, is that rare boxer, holding the WBA, WBC, WBO, IBF and Ring titles, simultaneously. Katie Taylor, 16 – 0, is already a two-weight, world champion and is the heavy favourite going into tomorrow’s festivities at an eye-popping – 8000!
With only 6 knockouts to her name, Katie Taylor isn’t expected to blow Gutierrez away, but a fairly one-sided decision seems to be in the offing, should she prevail. She’s clearly fought the better opposition and is far more experienced.
Her resume boasts 18 gold medals at the amateur level, including Olympic gold at the 2012 London Olympiad.
Professionally, she boasts wins over the likes of Viviane Obenauf and the always dangerous German, Nina Meinke.
Katie Taylor has the edge in overall athleticism as well, having played association football and having represented her native Ireland on the international stage with 19 caps to her credit at the senior level. Lastly, Katie has the added benefit of having the local fans solidly behind her.
For her part, Gutierrez, a Spaniard, comes in at 13 – 0 (5 KO’s). In her most recent fight, she won a lopsided unanimous decision over Venezuela’s Keren Batiz, at Casino Gran Madrid.
Gutierrez is considered the stronger of the two fighters, and, despite having registered only 5 knockouts in her 13 wins, carries the reputation of a real puncher.
In truth, the fight against Katie Taylor may seem minor to the Hades that Gutierrez has overcome in her personal life. When just in her 20’s, Gutierrez – then pregnant, no less – was viciously attacked by her partner-at-the-time. He broke several of her facial bones and her body was badly bruised, but he didn’t break her spirit.
Gutierrez has gone on to become an advocate for victims of domestic abuse in Spain.
She’s also a politician, sitting as a member of the municipal council of Torrejon de Ardoz, in Madrid.
Neither fighter is particularly young with Katie Taylor, 34, and Gutierrez, 37. But, as neither has taken much punishment in their careers either, conditioning and ageing are not expected to be significant factors.
Katie Taylor is definitely faster and lighter on her feet and should have the edge in ring generalship, while the Iberian will have that “puncher’s chance” for as long as she’s in there. The odds are very long against Gutierrez but she seems unfazed by that fact.
Asked if she felt fighting Taylor was a sort of “pinch yourself, you can’t believe it’s the real moment”, Gutierrez replied in a rather matter of fact way, “No, I’ve worked really hard to get here and I belong.” Queried further about her plan for the fight, Gutierrez quipped, “My style is to counter her style.” There is no sense of false bravado here; Gutierrez is here to fight.
The bigger story is that the main event of the evening is a women’s boxing event, being held at the venerable arena. It’s a big boost for the women’s game in the U.K., indeed, the world. Katie Taylor seems well aware of the momentousness of the occasion.
In an interview with Sky Sports, Katie Taylor said, “This is absolutely huge for women’s boxing. This is a huge opportunity for everyone on the card. We have the chance to display our skills to a new audience.”
There’s no doubt about women’s boxing has arrived in the U.K., many would say, long overdue. No better way to showcase it than the Taylor/Gutierrez tilt.