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Friday 19 July 2019

I'm Phelan very good!

Teen Katelynn says she'll be a superstar like Taylor

SMASH HIT: Katelynn Phelan, left, and Monika Antonik during their super lightweight bout in March at the National Stadium in Dublin. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
SMASH HIT: Katelynn Phelan, left, and Monika Antonik during their super lightweight bout in March at the National Stadium in Dublin. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Ireland's latest addition to the professional female ranks Katelynn Phelan has signed a new management deal with Boxing Ireland.

"I think I came into the pro game at the right time," said the Kildare woman. "Women's boxing is getting bigger and bigger."

As she prepares for her next fight on the undercard of the Noel Murphy v Jake Hanney Irish national title clash at the Neptune Stadium in Cork next month, Phelan is in a bullish mood.

"There are brilliant girls out there and I want to prove that I'm better than them," she said. "Deep down, I know I can make it as far as Katie Taylor has. I know damn well that I'm well able to win titles."

Phelan has form as an amateur. A seven-time Irish champion, a European junior champion, she brought home bronze from the World Youth Championships.

And she's still just 19.

"As an amateur, all anyone wants to do is box in the Olympics," explained Phelan.

"But as I started to think what I really wanted for myself, I knew I had to become a professional."

Promoter Leonard Gunning believes Phelan is the real deal.

"A lot of women come into the pro game late on," he said. "Katelynn is young. She's talented and she comes from a great boxing family. Of all the girls who've turned pro, I believe she's the best prospect.

''I can see Katelyn in a world title fight, no problem, when she's about 10-0."

A sister of Allan Phelan (10-3-1, 7 KOs) who had his first nine pro fights in the United States, Phelan trains in the morning in Unit 3 in Naas alongside Gary Cully and Francy Luzoho.

"It's really good working alongside the pros," she said. "I get plenty of tips from them."

Evening sessions include sparring in St Brigid's BC under the watchful eye of her father Paddy, the club coach.

"The plan is to get as many fights as I can," revealed the welterweight.

"I'll have another few four-round fights and then move to six rounds and work my way up to fighting for titles. As an amateur, I was doing three three-minute rounds.

''In my last fight, I fought four two-minute rounds and I wanted to fight another four rounds straight away afterwards because I felt so good. I'll be well able for six, eight and ever more rounds."

While Katie Taylor is an inspiration, Dublin amateur champion Kellie Harrington is Phelan's biggest influence.

"Kellie's amazing," she enthused. "Before I went to the World Championships, she came to reassure me and tell me what to expect. She discussed how things might go. She's a lovely person."

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