Boxing

BBC Duo Offer Rare And Harsh Criticism Of Katie Taylor

BBC Duo Offer Rare And Harsh Criticism Of Katie Taylor

Katie Taylor successfully defended her WBA lightweight title for the first time last week when she defeated American Jessica McCaskill at York Hall in London.

It was a fight Taylor dominated. Her supremacy in the bout was reflected on the judges' scorecard as she won by unanimous decision: 97-92, 97-92, 98-91.

Taylor's performance has not been without criticism. Speaking on BBC 5 Live's boxing podcast, Mike Costello, a long-time BBC boxing commentator, and Steve Bunce, a broadcaster and journalist, were both critical of Taylor, especially regarding what they saw as her "leaky defence".

Costello: A scrappy performance and what I thought it demonstrated and showed us is just how leaky Katie Taylor's defence is. I noticed parts of it before but it really was seriously leaky this time.

Bunce: I was a little bit surprised by how often she was hit by a six-bout novice. Six of those contests that McCaskill had, three of them were making their debut. She didn't fight a seasoned woman who's coming from loads of World Championships and Olympic qualifiers and Olympic trials. I was a little bit surprised.

Bunce suggested that perhaps Taylor should reassess her approach to fights. Harshly, Costello questioned the Bray fighter's boxing nous.

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Bunce: Taylor is now eight fights in, she's an Olympic champion, all those World Championships and European Championships. I was suprised and I'm just wondering if maybe she has to revert back a little bit to the pick and hit Katie Taylor that was so brilliant. Maybe she has to stop... I've had a few run-ins with Katie's people over me saying that she needs to slow down and do what she does best and stop thinking she's Mike Tyson in box shirt shorts.

Costello: There were times in the fight when she was launching single shots, single jabs, single right hands. She could not miss, it was so easy - and I use that word - it was so easy, it was embarrassingly one-sided. But that wasn't enough for her, she wanted to get involved. I thought it actually showed a lack of a boxing brain.

Bunce: Maybe she's hasn't had to do a lot of thinking. She was so untouchable for all of those years. What was that sequence? 100 and something, through Olympics and three or four Worlds and Europeans, she was untouchable before the three defeats last year.

Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Watch: Katie Taylor Taunted And Goaded Jessica McCaskill In Title Defence

PJ Browne
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