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 last night.
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.
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.
In the end, Graczyk did admirably well to make it all the way to the final bell.
Meanwhile, David Price wants to send a message to the Klitschko brothers by hammering former world title challenger Tony Thompson in style tonight.
The 6ft 8in Liverpool heavyweight has his long-term sights set on a clash with either WBC champion Vitali or his brother Wladimir, who holds the WBA, IBF and WBO belts.
First however, the unbeaten Price (15-0, 13 KOs) faces a step up in class against American veteran Thompson (36-3, 24KOs) who has lost twice to Wladimir in the past.