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Katie Taylor, Ireland’s gold medalist, shines in New York boxing debut

Katie Taylor corners Jasmine Clarkson during their lightweight

Katie Taylor corners Jasmine Clarkson during their lightweight match on July 29, 2017 at the Barclays Center. Credit: Getty Images / Elsa

After three rounds, Katie Taylor demonstrated what she is capable of accomplishing in a boxing ring. What she also gave area boxing fans was a glimpse of what could be.

On Saturday night, Taylor dominated Jasmine Clarkson in a women’s lightweight bout on the Mikey Garcia-Adrien Broner undercard at the Barclays Center. Taylor, an Olympic gold medalist from Ireland, overwhelmed Clarkson with combinations, forcing her corner to stop the bout after the third round. It was the first time Clarkson had not reached the final bell of a fight.

Promoter Lou DiBella has made it his practice to include female bouts on his shows at Barclays, regularly featuring Amanda Serrano and Heather Hardy at the venue over the last two years. Adding Taylor to that mix could create some interesting matchups.

“It was a fantastic experience being my first time competing here in the U.S.,” said Taylor, who improved to 6-0 with four knockouts. “There were definitely some nerves before the fight. I hope that I made some fans tonight. I loved hearing the Irish fans in the crowd. I hope that there will be even more next time I fight here. The more fights I have here in the U.S. the better.”

Watching from the third row was Serrano, the WBO world super bantamweight champion. Although she wasn’t impressed with Clarkson’s 4-8 record, she could see the upside of Taylor fighting in New York.

“I fight whoever and whenever,” said Serrano. “It’s up to my team. I fight whoever they put in front of him. It would be a good fight. She’s brings a good draw, I bring a good draw. So why not? It would be nice to beat a gold medalist.”

Both Serrano (122 pounds) and Hardy (126) compete at a lighter weight than Taylor’s 135. But both are certainly in range for a catchweight fight and Serrano has competed as high as 135 in the past.

“We need to build that mystique, we have more talented women fighting and promoters are starting to put them on and that will create the rivalries,” said Jill Diamond Chastain, the co-chair of the WBC’s women’s boxing division. “I think once they start putting on good fights, people don’t give a damn if they are a man or a woman, if it’s an exciting fight, that’s what fans want to see.”

Taylor said she was in Brooklyn in January and watched Serrano’s title defense against Yazmin Rivas.

“There are some great fights to be made in women’s boxing,” said Taylor. “Overall women’s boxing is definitely on a high at the moment. There are big, big fights out there for the sport and for me.”

It’s the first time that Taylor’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, has brought the Olympian to the United States to work with DiBella.

“Eddie Hearn wanted to give Katie some exposure in New York and I give him credit for that,” DiBella said. “I am always happy to have quality women fighters on one of my cards and she’s top shelf. Katie is a very good fighter and a very good person. Somewhere down the line, I can see some very big fights for Katie here.”

New York Sports