Katie Taylor set for Olympic
by Michael O'Neill
Credit: Sports News Ireland
April 4, 2012
(APR 4) Katie Taylor today
joins the Irish training camp in Ukraine, part of her
preparation for the 2012 World Championships in China next month
but before leaving added two more comprehensive wins to her
record, now standing at 124 wins from 131 contests. Here we take
a look at this weekends bouts in Cork and Dungarvan.
Cork City Friday 20th March:
A third win in eight days for Katie as the the World number one
comprehensively outpointed Breaux Bridge,Louisiana born Liz
Leddy before a very enthusiastic and knowledgeable 500+ crowd at
the Silver Springs Hotel in Cork City. Liz Leddy, whose brave
fight against depression we reported here last week, was just as
brave in the ring as she was when she successfully fought her
greatest fight – that against alcohol abuse and drugs, in recent
The Cork tournament was organised by the St John’s B.C in Fermoy
and once again praise to Patrick Flynn, Seamus Coleman and the
rest of the committee for having put together a top class bill,
and having to cope with so many changes of opponent for Taylor
as other top U.S stars such as Cashmere Jackson , N’yeetah
Sherman and Bertha Aracil were forced to withdraw due to injury
or visa difficulties.
Taylor is no stranger to Cork as in recent years she has fought
in Fermoy, Ballyhooley,Youghal and at the Rochestown Park Hotel
so no great surprise that Cork fans have ‘adopted’ Taylor as if
she was one of their own.
Full marks though to Liz Leddy, the 30 years old U.S star ,now
based in Portland, Maine. She came out aggressively from the
first bell and attempted to take the fight to Taylor. No way was
she prepared to allow Taylor to take the initiative from the
off. Taylor’s response was fast and furious – three of her
trademark left hooks in the opening phase. More of the same in
round two though at a slightly less frenetic pace.
Another good round from the American in round three, though
visibly tiring but by then Taylor was well in command.
Hardly surprisingly round four was one where both boxers were
tiring though Taylor did add a punishing right hander which
resulted in a standing count of eight for the gallant American.
Later the Bray woman after paid fulsome praise to Leddy went on
: “I’m very happy with that performance. Liz Leddy was great.
It’s very useful to box against the different styles. We knew
what to expect when fighting her – it was non-stop attack for
four rounds. But we did well – our tactics were perfect”.
She told BreakingNews.ie : “”The crowd were unbelievable,”
adding that “They always get behind you so much in these kind of
nights. It was an amazing atmosphere to fight in, which helped
make the night so enjoyable. I think I’ve fought in Cork four or
five times now and each time it is fantastic”
Of her hopes for qualification for the Olympic she again warned
reporters of the need to avoid being over confident: “I just
take each day as it comes. I keep getting congratulations for
qualifying for the Olympics – I think I’ve been getting them for
about a year now but I’m far from qualified! All I can do is go
to China in the best condition I can be in, and perform to the
best of my ability”.
And her hopes for the months ahead: “I’m getting stronger and
fitter. I’ve lots of work to do and a bit of fine tuning to my
condition. By the time China comes around, I should be
absolutely spot on.”
“It’s a big year with the Euros and the world champs and then
hopefully the Olympics. First things first though, I want to
retain my world championship and come home with my fourth world
” Dungarvan 31st March:
For Taylor and Leddy and their coaches it was on to Dungarvan on
Saturday and the Crotty Memorial Tournament in honour of that
late great Dungarvan boxer Peter Crotty . Another “full house”
and another night greatly appreciated by followers of the ‘noble
art’ in Waterford and surrounding counties.
This was a superbly organised tournament, as has been the case
for some years now. Top marks to Gerry O’Mahoney and his team.
As with Cork, Taylor is well respected in Dungarvan having boxed
here on previous occasions including a memorable win over GB
Boxing Olympic hopeful, Amanda Coulson.
Leddy replaced another American N’yeetah Sherman who suffered a
facial injury in training earlier in the week. The young 19
years old Sherman, from Ohio, had reportedly put a Professional
debut on a Miguel Cotto v Floyd Mayweather world title bill, ‘on
hold’ to have a crack at Taylor – alas that was not to be but
the Dungarvan crowd found in Leddy (who has Clare and Cavan
ancestors) an opponent who again went out – and gave it her all
– to upset the odds and reverse the previous evening’s result.
For Taylor though Saturday night was her 125th win from 132
bouts – a remarkable record especially when one considers that
the defeats include some debatable decisions against such as
Gulsum Tatar, Sofia Ochigava and Denitza Eliseeva earlier in her
Taylor again proved too strong for the Portland BC fighter who
took two standing counts in the third and another in the fourth
and final round of Saturday’s clash.
Abbeyside’s Gerry O’Mahoney, Secretary of the local club and one
of the founders of the Dungarvan BC in 1988, now President of
the IABA’s Munster Council ,paid tribute to Taylor and to Leddy
as well as other boxers on the night’s show , adding:
“It was a fantastic performance from Katie.She was on top all
the way through against a tough opponent”.
“We’re delighted with the turn out for the show and the quality
of boxing and it was a great night all round.”
And so, Taylor has won her final four bouts on Irish soil before
the World’s in China, which also acts as the only women’s
The fact that Tyrone McCullagh and Chris Phelan have been added
to the boxing squad now in the training camp will ensure that
she has some good sparring partners in Ukraine.
But as she has warned so often, the toughest bouts are those
ahead in China. No one though could be better prepared for the
battles ahead !