AFLW star Tayla Harris extends unbeaten professional boxing record | Sport

AFLW star Tayla Harris extends unbeaten professional boxing record | Sport





Original Source


Tayla Harris produced a decisive second-round onslaught and showed more ruthlessness to extend her unbeaten professional boxing record to six fights on Wednesday. Harris scored a second-round TKO over professional debutante and media personality Renee Gartner on the undercard of the Tim Tszyu-Dwight Ritchie fight in Sydney. It was her first KO as she improved her record to 5-0-1 (1 KO).

Super welterweight Tszyu later added more belts and learnt some lessons after successfully passing his toughest professional test to date. The 24-year-old Sydneysider was made to work by Victorian Dwight Ritchie in his home town, but earned a unanimous 10-round points decision.

After a quiet opening round in which there was little action apart from a couple of right hand shots by Harris, the dual sports star opened up in the second. Gartner did land one punch but got caught herself and Harris followed up with a barrage of blows, prompting the stoppage from referee Les Fear.

“When someone is affected by a punch, exhausted you’ve got to act on it and I recognised an opportunity,” Harris said. “Renee turned her back around and kept going. Previously I might have noticed a turn and thought ‘I’ll let her straighten up’, but I learnt that boxing isn’t about that. If you give them a chance they will take it, so I didn’t let her have a chance.”

It was Harris’s first fight since the end of the AFLW season and the picture of her athleticism which led to some people trolling her online. A number of Harris’s Carlton teammates flew to Sydney to watch the fight.

The only blemish on her record is a draw for the Australian middleweight title last year and she would jump at the chance to win the national crown. “I’d love that to be there. I’m sure it will be there and I’ll take it as soon as it comes up, whenever it is,” she said.

Tayla Harris



Tayla Harris claims victory over Renee Gartner in Sydney. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Tszyu went into his fight rated 12th by the IBF, three places below Ritchie and it was no cakewalk, as his opponent made him work for a win the judges gave to him by margins of four, five and six points. While Tszyu landed the more powerful blows, Ritchie kept him honest, firing off plenty of punches of his own in a willing contest.

“He kept me on my toes, he took me somewhere I haven’t been,” Tszyu said. “It’s definitely something I can learn from and train to get better. All my respect to Dwight, he’s one hell of a competitor.”

Ritchie was bothered by a cut near his left eye, which opened up in the third round, but he refused to use that as an excuse. “I don’t want to take anything away from Tim, he fought a great fight,” Ritchie said.

Tszyu remains interested in a fight with former WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn, who was commentating at ringside. However, Horn has as a middleweight fight against Michael Zerafa in Bendigo looming on 31 August and there is no guarantee he will drop down a division after that contest to take on Tszyu.






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