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Ireland's Boxing Sensation - Katie Taylor
By Bernard O'Neill
of Ireland
Oct. 6, 2006 -

Irish boxing sensation Katie Taylor has admitted that she
is devastated that Olympic chiefs have ruled out women's boxing for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

Taylor won her second European Championship Senior gold medal on the trot last month after a stunning second round Lightweight victory over reigning world champion Tatyana Chalaya in Poland.

The 20 year old Bray, County Wicklow woman, who's dad Peter was in her corner in Warsaw, stopped her Russian opponent on the 15 point rule (18-3) just 48 hours after beating world number two Tatar Gulson (18-15).

Taylors battles with Gulson have been epic encounters.
Last year she edged the Turk out in the European Championships semi final, but Gulson exacted revenge with a countback win in the EU Championships.

Meanwhile on top of winning gold in Warsaw, she was also presented with the boxer of the tournament award to cap an incredible weekend.

Commentating on the victory, Irish Amateur Boxing Association (IABA) chief Gary Keegan said it was a proud moment for Irish sport.

He said, "Katie has proved in Poland that she is the top boxer in the world in her weight category and this win ranks up there with the great sporting achievements of Irish athletes in any sport.

"To put it into perspective, not only did she successfully defend her European title, but she also beat the world champion to do it and totally outclassed her into the bargain.

"We were expecting it to be a tough close contest but Katie simply blew here opponent away. She has done here country proud in Poland and we are absolutely thrilled with this victory.

Keegan was also full of praise for proud dad Peter Taylor, who coached his talented daughter to four wins in Poland.

Keegan added, "Peter has worked extremely hard with Katie
and our other boxers over the last few years.

"This is a proud moment for him and everyone in the Irish Amateur Boxing Association, shares in that pride
and celebrates a truly remarkable victory".

Taylor will now compete in November's world championships in New Delhi, India, where she will be amongst the favourites to win gold.

However the European champ may have to wait until the 2012 Olympic Games in London before she represents her country on the highest stage of all.

She said, "I was absolutely thrilled to win gold at the European Championships for the second year running and it a very proud moment for me and my dad Peter who was in my corner.

"It was also delighted to receive the boxer of the tournament award as I wasn't expecting it and that was really the icing on the cake.

"I would like to thank everyone at the IABA after this win as they have been behind me all the  way over the last few years and have helped me enormously.

"I am now looking forward to competing in World Championships in India next month and I am expecting to be a very tough tournament as only the best will be there.

"In regards to the Olympics, I was very disappointed that women's boxing was not chosen as a sport for the Beijing Games in two years time.

"It is every athletes dream to represent their country at the Olympics and I'm no different and all we want is the same opportunity as other athletes.

"First we were told that women's boxing would be included for Beijing, and then we were told no. which was devastating.

"However I will be twenty six when the Olympic Games are held in London and hopefully women's boxing will be included and I will be given the opportunity to represent my country at the Olympics as that would be a dream come true".

Taylor has also won 40 caps playing soccer for Ireland from U/17 level up and played against Russia, Switzerland, and the USA in the last 12 months.

However when it comes to a choice between the beautiful game and the noble art, boxing wins out.

She added, "I love playing for Ireland, and I love soccer, but when it comes down to it I would choose boxing as my number one sport as I'd miss it too much if I wasn't involved".

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