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Boxing: Katie Taylor takes I.A.B.A 'Boxer of Year' award
By Michael O’Neill
January 16, 2012
Photo Credit: Michael Hade – IABA


(JAN 16) Having won a fifth successive European 60kg title in Rotterdam in October and a fourth in a row European Union crown in Katowice earlier in the Summer, Katie Taylor received the coveted ‘ Boxer of the Year’ award at the Irish Amateur Boxing Association Annual Awards Dinner at the Green Isle Hotel in Dublin on Saturday night. As boxing is currently Ireland’s most successful sport, it was a great boost for women's boxing for Taylor to beat off the challenge of the country’s top male fighters such as Joe Ward , Paddy Barnes, Kenny Egan and Darren O’Neill.

For the A.I.B.A World Female Boxer of the Year it was a fitting reward in the IABA’s 100tth year and it completed a great year for the Bray native who only last week was chosen as the WBAN Amateur Boxer of the Year award, for the fifth time in six years.

Next up she hopes to achieve her lifelong ambition in 2012 – namely an Olympic Gold in London later this summer. Of course as she rightly says, she has not yet qualified for the Olympics and even if she does she will face her toughest challenge with champions from the 57kg and 64kg divisions also seeking to win a coveted first Olympic Gold.

With the only (female) Olympic qualifying event, the World Championships in China next May in mind ,Team Taylor has arranged three bouts on successive nights at the Royal Hotel in Bray on February 24,25,26 when she takes on Sandra Brugger of Switzerland, Cindy Orain of France and Ingrid Egner of Norway as part of her preparation for China. These are three of the leading European boxers, who will also be in the Olympic qualifying so this will be valuable preparation for when she meets such as Queen Underwood, Cheng Dong, Sofya Ochigava, Natasha Jonas and Gulsum Tatar in China ,and possibly later in London.

At the IABA awards dinner, Taylor was also one of six boxers to receive ‘Elite International Achievers Awards’ , along with Joe Ward, Ray Moylette, John Joe Nevin, Darren O'Neill and Michael Conlan.

For once Taylor was not the only woman to receive an award as Katie Rowland, Michaela Walsh and Austeja Acuieta were back on top of the podium after winning three bronze medals at the 1st AIBA World Women's Youth and Junior Championships last year.

So too another Bray club member, Laoise Traynor, and Paulstown’s Lauragh O’Neill, who won bronze in the European Union event.

Katie Taylor's dad and coach Peter said: "Katie is absolutely delighted with the award. The previous twelve months were a big year for Irish boxing and 2012 will be crucial with the Olympic qualifiers for men and women and the Olympic Games just around the corner."


Best boxer (Male or Female)
Katie Taylor (Bray)

Elite International Achievers:
Joe Ward (Moate)
Ray Moylette (St Anne's)
John Joe Nevin (Cavan)
Darren O'Neill (Paulstown)
Michael Conlan (St John Bosco)
Katie Taylor (Bray)

Individual Awards
Elite: Ross Hickey (Grangecon)
Intermediate: Christy Joyce (St Michael's Athy)
Youth: Michael O'Reilly (Portlaoise)
Junior: Dylan Carr (Ryston)
Schoolboy: Darren Pollock (St Agnes)

Best Club
Ryston BC

Coaches Award
The coaching staff at Ryston

Hall of Fame Boxer
Jim O'Sullivan

Best Referee & Judge:
Ferdie Whelan (Loughrea)

Special Award:
Michael Gallagher (Tyrone)

Special Award for Services to Boxing
Dominic Kiernan (Wexford CBS)

Special Award for Outstanding Services to Boxing
Dominic O'Rourke

High Performance Award
Billy Walsh

Friendship Award
Gerry Callan

Administration Award
Joe Hennigan

Youth Team Awards
Michael O'Reilly (Portlaoise)
Joe Fitzpatrick (Immaculata)
Stephen Broadhurst (Dealgan)
Jack Morrissey (Sacre Coeur)

Women's Youth & Junior World Championships Team Award
Katie Rowland (Geesala)
Michaela Walsh (Holy Family)
Austeja Acuieta (Finn Valley)

European Union medallists:
Laoise Traynor (Bray)
Lauragh O'Neill (Paulstown).

European Junior Championships Team Award
Luke Thomas (Watergrasshill)
John Nevin (Cavan)
Martin Conroy (Ballyhaunis)

European Schoolboy Championships Team Awards
John Joyce (St Michael's Athy)
James Cleary (Olympic)
Tiernan Bradley (Sacred Heart)
Craig Bonney (Trinity Boys)
Lewis Crocker (Cairn Lodge)
Sean Conroy (Ballyhaunis)
Keelan Sexton (West Clare)
Matthew Burke (Ballinrobe)

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