Ireland have a new boxing world champion.
Kildare’s Katelynn Phelan pulled off one of the biggest results in Irish boxing this year as she defeated the hot favourite Jessica Schadko by TKO, to win the WBC Youth, WBF and WIBA titles.
Going into the fight, the odds were firmly stacked against the young Irish welterweight. Phelan was unbeaten in three professional fights but her opponent Schadko, was unbeaten in eight and has seen significant investment placed behind her. If experience wasn’t enough of a challenge, Phelan made the step up from four rounds to ten for the first time and faced the German behind closed doors in her own boxing club.
Phelan is Ireland’s youngest professional female boxer. While it may have appeared that the fight was coming too early in her young career, the performance said otherwise. The lilywhite produced a sensational performance which saw her grind Schadko to a halt before the sixth round with a TKO.
Speaking ahead of the clash, Phelan’s trainer, Niall Barrett, was clear over the game plan. The World and European Youth bronze medallist would fight on the front foot, putting pressure on the German and suffocating her with relentless pace.
That is exactly what she did.
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CHAMPION OF THE WORLD ! where to start, it feels so amazing to say I am world champion, I would like to give a massive thank you to everyone for the lovely messages, I’m trying to reply to them it’s overwhelming and I am so grateful to have all the support behind me, A huge thank you to my team for everything they have done behind the scenes and all the hard work they also put in ❤️ I worked day in and day out for this fight and left no stone unturned, I deserved this and I can honestly say I am so proud of myself !! Best wishes to my opponent @jessischadko and I wish her the best in her career, Going to take a few days to rest and relax and then I’ll be on the hunt for big things 🦁😜 The baby lion became world champ in the lions den 👊🏻🔥🦁 Biggest thank you to my amazing sponsors…. • @unit3healthandfitness • @phillykinsella strong Body Strong Mind • @floathouseireland • @irish_biltong • @wilton scrap hire • ISAS information security assurance services • @hairbellegirls • @darmor17 • @infinityrecoveryroom @coyneresearch @beatprints ————————————————————— #teamKP #teamPhelan #girlswhobox #femalefighter #cantseecantbe #mytime #myyear #letsgo #smile #focus #girlscan #winner #undefeated #champ #smilingAssassin #worldchamp #loading #mytime #andthenew
In the first round, the St. Brigid’s Boxing Club graduate came out firing and completely dominated the round. Phelan landed multiple combinations which had Schadko backed up against the ropes and shell shocked. The second round continued in similar vein with Phelan busy and relentless in swarming the German.
In the third, Schadko enjoyed her most productive round finding space and distance between herself and Phelan but in the next round normal service resumed. Phelan once again stepped up the pressure and was using her movement and guile to get in close and land heavy shots to the German’s body. It was the fifth round where Phelan really stepped up the pace and put Schadko to the sword. The nine-time Irish National champion had Schadko reeling in the final seconds of the round.
Celebrations soon ensued after Team Schadko informed the referee that their fighter would not be returning for the sixth round, handing Phelan a TKO win.
At just 20, Phelan has propelled her career to new paths. Undoubtedly one of the hottest properties in the boxing world right now. Manger Stephen Sharpe from Boxing Ireland spoke before the fight and said, “It’s generally unheard of for a fighter of Katelynn’s experience and age to get an opportunity like this, however, we are in unprecedented times and it’s fallen perfectly for Katelynn.”
“If she can go out there and pull this off then Katelynn’s name will be on the lips of everyone in global boxing and set up a massive future for her,” Sharpe added.
What’s a night. Congrats @katelynnphelan1! Came saw & conquered. magnificent achievement and a magnificent performance. The result 2020 needed.— Boxing Ireland Promotions (@LoveIrishBoxing) October 18, 2020
The sky is the limit now. Hats off to her Dad, Paddy Phelan, and all at St. Bridget’s BC and especially to her coach Niall Barrett. pic.twitter.com/1XJVKoKUqd