(NOV 13) Olympic Gold
medallist and already four times World champion, Katie Taylor
heads a strong – but small – Irish team at the eighth edition of
the AIBA Women’s World Championships beginning in Jeju City,
Korea on Sunday.
Speaking to WBAN, from the team’s
base in Jeju, coach and Dad, Pete said that training and
sparring, had gone well and that Katie was in fine form and
looking forward to defending her 60kg crown – should she win
again in Jeju it will be a record breaking fifth successive
crown, a feat never before achieved.
Pete said: “Training and sparring
has gone great and she has been sparring with the Korean team
(males and females).
Her main competitors I think will be Russia’s Sofya Ochigava,
French champion Estelle Mossely and China’s titleholder Yin
But anyone on the opposite corner to Katie is going to be a
There are no easy bouts at this level.
All the Irish girls are in great form and are looking forward to
The Bray lightweight has won an
astonishing 16 major titles since claiming her first European
gold after beating Finland’s Eva Wahlstroem in Norway in 2005.
Her haul to-date includes one Olympic, four AIBA World, six
European and five European Union titles – all in-a-row.
To date she has won some 149 bouts, with over 95 per cent of
them, outside of her native Ireland. Should she win that 150th
bout in Korea early next week then, with the standard of women’s
boxing improving dramatically year-on-year it is a record
unlikely to be surpassed, other than by Katie Taylor!
Even more remarkable when one considers that Katie has never won
an Irish title – in the ring –back home and indeed few of her
Irish fans have ever seen her in ‘live’ action save those lucky
enough to be at the ExCeL Arena on those heady August days of
She’s also scooped three AIBA World Elite Female Boxer of the
Year Awards and has been in No. 1 position in the AIBA 60kg
rankings for the last eight years.
Last but not least she has been WBAN’s ‘Amateur’ Boxer of the
Year on six occasions, sharing it with fellow Olympic Gold
medallists Nicky Adams and Claressa Shields in 2012.
Before leaving for the Korean training camp, Katie herself had
forecast that this would be the toughest test for her to date.
“I want to make history in my sport, I want to be a highly
decorated amateur champion and continue to win titles”.
“Preparations are going great, I’ve been training hard all year,
the European Championships went great and I’ve quickly switched
my focus to these Worlds.
Things are going really well and I’m feeling really strong and
sharp and hopefully I’ll defend my title.
“It’s going to be tough and it’s always difficult to defend
those titles. It doesn’t come easy and I think it gets harder
and harder every year because you are going in as the one to
beat and everyone raises their game against you.
“So, I have to be at my very best and box better than I’ve ever
done before to win “
Ireland’s other medal hopes include Joanne Lambe from
Carrickmacross BC, Kilkenny’s Clare Grace who boxes out of the
Callan club and Michaela Walsh from the Holy Family Golden
Gloves club in Belfast. Michaela, you will recall took silver
and in the eyes of many experts was ‘unlucky’ to lose out for
Gold at the recent Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Jeju though
will be even tougher albeit England’s Nicola Adams will be
missing due to injury.
Talking to WBAN from Jeju, Joanne Lambe told us:
“It feels great to be out here, an absolutely amazing experience
so far. There are 3 different hotels that are accommodating the
boxers and coaches… in our hotel we have the Polish, The USA,
The Road to Jeju group and a few others…. I spotted a Ugandan
tracksuit too so it’s great to see they too made it out here.
I’ve spotted Queen Underwood, Claressa Shields, and Tiara Brown
from the USA… Record numbers entered in these World
Championships… it’s absolutely fantastic and just proves how
women’s boxing is growing…here’s hoping that will be reflected
with increased weight classes for the Olympics!!!
Obviously I’m hoping for a kind draw on Sunday….however you have
got to be prepared for anything. It is the World Championships
at the end of the day and everybody will have their eyes on the
prize…nobody is coming out here to lose or make up numbers. So
it doesn’t matter who is in front of me in the ring, I will not
be underestimating -or overestimating - anybody.
Training has gone really well to date. We have a fantastic
atmosphere in the team, everybody is getting on so well and we
are all looking forward to the competition starting. We have
sparred with the Korean team a few times and we were all very
pleased with our performances. I watched Katie, Clare and
Michaela sparring and they all look on form. I felt great in my
own spars too.
I have no idea how many will be in each weight category; it will
be interesting to see!! I’m expecting a high number in mine
You can follow all the news from Jeju here on WBAN in the coming
days. Boxing begins on Sunday evening in Jeju’s Halla Gymnasium.
AIBA World Women’s Elite Championships Jeju, Korea November
54kg Michaela Walsh (Holy Family)
57kg Joanna Lambe (Carrickmacross)
60kg Katie Taylor (Bray)
69kg Clare Grace (Callan)
Team Manager : Anna Moore
Coaches : Pete Taylor, Zuar Antia, Gerry Storey
Irish viewers can watch full coverage of all the Semi-finals
(both sessions) via TG4 on Sunday 23rd November and the Finals
on Monday 24th November. TG4’s commentary will be provided by
Seán Bán Breathnach and Colman Ó Flatharta.
TG4’s Rónán Ó Coisdealbha said: “We are happy to be making this
major international boxing event available on free to view
television as Ireland’s most successful and revered female
sports star ever,once again puts her reputation on the line and
goes to do us (and herself) proud on the world stage.
WBAN welcomes news from other teams competing in Jeju next week
- just email us here on
email@example.com where we also welcome details of any LIVE
coverage in your country. Once we hear from the AIBA of any LIVE
coverage of the tournament that they are providing, we will of
course update you.