Katie Taylor voted AIBA Elite Woman
Boxer of 2012
by Michael O'Neill
October 11, 2012
Photo: Katie Taylor
(OCT 11) Ireland’s 26 years
old Olympic Gold medallist, Katie Taylor has been voted as the
AIBA Elite Woman Boxer of the Year for a record third time thus
confirming her top ranking status in a year which had already
seen her take the World and Olympic titles.
The announcement came Thursday from the AIBA selection committee
chaired by President, Dr Ching-Kuo Wu and composed of AIBA
A second prestigious award also went Ireland’s way when Michael
Gallagher, from Omagh, Co. Tyrone was chosen as best Referee and
Judge for the year, his second such award.
For Katie Taylor the award places her further ahead of any other
female amateur boxer, past or present as the 26 years old Bray
native , has now won this prestigious award for the third time
in four years as well as four World crowns since India 2006,
five successive European titles beginning with Norway 2005 and
four European Union championships . In that period she has never
been beaten in any championship competition, an amazing record.
She has also won the prestigious WBAN amateur boxer award in
five of the last six years.
In addition to taking the Gold medal in the Olympics , she was
also voted unanimously as outstanding female boxer in London
with the international governing body adding at that time that
Taylor was ‘“a worthy winner of the first ever women’s best
boxer trophy” and “the decision was not decided on sentiment”.
Those of us who were privileged to witness her great quarter
final victory over GB’s Natasha Jonas and semi-final success
against Tajikistan’s Mavzuna Chorieva could readily identify
with the AIBA’s description of her as a pioneer for women’s
boxing who would take the sport “to new heights with her level
of skills and dedication” . Though the final against Russia’s
Sofya Ochigava was a tense ‘cat and mouse’ affair, Taylor rose
to the occasion and came back from behind to take that elusive
Olympic Gold before some 10,000 fans, the majority of whom were
Irish, at the ExCeL.
She had figured in arguably the best bout of the tournament -
men or women - when she waged war with Great Britain's Natasha
Jonas, winning 26-15 in a furious bout which will live long in
the memory of all who witnessed it.
Other serious competitors for the 2012 award included GB’s Nikki
Adams, U.S Boxing’s Claressa Shields (like Taylor, both Olympic
Gold medallists), China’s Cancan Ren , India’s Mery Kom and
Russians Nadezda Torlopova and Ochigava.
“Katie has won the award three times now and that has never been
done before. It’s a great honour and we’re absolutely
delighted”, said coach and father, Peter Taylor.
The official 2012 awards ceremony will be held at a banquet in
Yerevan, Armenia, on December 7th during the AIBA World Youths
Championships. Taylor first received the world female boxer of
the year award in Moscow four years ago and then again in 2010
at the AIBA awards in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
In announcing the 2012 awards, the AIBA added: “We are proud at
AIBA that Katie Taylor has graced the sport of boxing and we
sincerely hope that she will be there in Rio 2016 to defend her
title and once again showcase women’s boxing in all its
“The International Boxing Association (AIBA) is delighted to
reveal the list of winners for its 2012 AIBA Annual Awards
Ceremony. The selection committee was chaired by AIBA President,
Dr Ching-Kuo Wu and composed by AIBA Commission Chairpersons”.
The official announcement concluded : “The 2012 AIBA Annual
Awards Ceremony will take place on 7 December in conjunction
with the final banquet of the AIBA Youth World Boxing
Championships Yerevan 2012”.
AIBA Awards – 2012 :
Best Elite Men Boxer of the Year - Oleksandr USYK (Ukraine)
Best Elite Women Boxer of the Year - Katie TAYLOR (Ireland)
Best Referee & Judge of the Year - Michael GALLAGHER (Ireland)
Best Coach of the Year - David HALLOWAY (Great Britain)
Best Technical Official of the Year - Franco FALCINELLI (Italy)
Best WSB Boxer of the Year - Sergiy DEREVYANCHENKO (Ukraine)
Best WSB Referee & Judge of the Year - Jean-Robert LAINE
Best WSB Coach of the Year - Francesco DAMIANI (Italy)
Best WSB Supervisor of the Year - Luiz BOSELLI (Brazil)
Best Sportsmanship of the Year - Garip ERCUYUMCU (Turkey)
Meantime will Katie remain an Amateur or turn Pro? Remember some
eight days ago we said in an editorial : “ WBAN TO TAYLOR – DO
NOT GO PRO YET and went on .
‘We feel that IF she turns pro now,it will end in great regret
for her, and Taylor has worked too hard up to this point, to
change her game plan in the sport.
We would like to suggest to Taylor to STAY IN THE AMATEURS and
compete in the 2016 Olympics, THEN turn Pro. In this four year
period until 2016 ,the pro side of the sport will have hopefully
a more sturdy foundation that develops, now that we have had
female boxers accepted for the first time in the Olympics”.
So how does Katie Taylor herself see the situation now?
“I’d love to stay amateur and go for Rio in four years. The only
thing I haven’t done in amateur boxing is defend my Olympic
title and that’s a major ambition.
“But at the same time, I have been offered a few nice pro
contracts. What is crucial for me is getting my future secured.
I’m not sure what deal with the IABA is going to be made yet.
“But put it this way, if I get the right contract then I can’t
think of anything better than boxing for your country and
bringing medals back home.
“Straight up, I’d love to bring back another gold from Rio in
“I think the Olympics will always be the pinnacle. If I did turn
pro, would I ever get back to how I felt at the Olympics?
Defending that title would get that feeling”, she later told
‘The Irish Times’..
“The professional game is more like a business, a cut-throat
business, really. You have to get the right fights, the right
promoter. With amateur boxing you’re just there to fight the
best. And I think it’s harder to win titles in amateur boxing.
But I absolutely love it, and the Olympics. It’s a challenge to
defend the titles, every year, as well, so I would have no
trouble with motivating myself to go on, either.”
WBAN.com understands that a final decision is likely within the
next 10 days or so though discussions have taken longer than the
Taylors may have anticipated due to the number of parties
involved eg: the Irish Amateur Boxing Association, the AIBA and
of course the Irish Sports Council.
Irish sporting bodies have long been anticipating cuts in sports
grants for 2013 due to the country’s financial situation hence
discussions such as those involving Katie Taylor can take longer
than the parties would have hoped for yet is it quite clear from
her comments that Katie herself is indeed hoping to defend that
Olympic crown in Rio.
Olympic Silver medallist, John Joe Nevin has only this week
turned Pro – a big blow to the IABA, who had hoped he would
remain an amateur but perhaps also a decision which could
eventually benefit Taylor.
In addition on 8 November, her book “ Katie Taylor – My Olympic
Dream”, published by Simon & Schuster will be available from
Amazon worldwide and in most major bookshops, in time for the
lucrative Christmas market.