Our plea - reinstate Katie Taylor to
the Lee/Saunders World title fight ...
by Michael O'Neill
August 7, 2015
(AUGUST 7) In boxing
circles, as in life in general, ‘great ideas’ do not always
reach fruition. . All parties may believe that they are ‘close
to agreement’ but yet minor hiccups, some might say
‘misunderstandings’ occur and that ‘great idea’ is shelved,
without everyone REALLY understanding the reason why an
agreement has not ‘come to pass’.
So why has Katie Taylor’s appearance on the undercard of the
Andy Lee vs Billy Joe Saunders been called off? There is a
general agreement that it is something that would benefit ALL of
the parties and much good work was done ‘behind the scenes’ to
ensure that it did happen. Let me explain.
Today the International Boxing Association (AIBA) issued a
statement – unusually sent only to Irish National Broadcaster,
RTE Sport ‘insisting that the proposed bout had been given a
green light from their end and that it would have been "further
proof of the growing importance of women’s boxing". And indeed
WE do agree with those sentiments. So apparently do the other
parties. Katie herself had been delighted to have had the
invitation in the first instance and Adam Booth, Lee’s trainer
has, like Andy himself been very happy too. The bout like the
Lee v Saunders fight itself was due to be shown on UK TV via Box
Nation and thus would also have been available to Irish
We are given to understand that it may even have been offered to
North American PPV companies and possibly even Live Streaming
was under consideration. The bout itself was fixed for
Limerick’s Thomond Park, home of Munster Rugby for 19th
September so again plenty of advance notice, great opportunities
to sell even more tickets with the Olympic Gold medallist taking
part in a bout where her Governing body (AIBA) would provide the
Referee and Judges and where in accordance with
Standard AIBA rules the bout would be fought over 4 x 2 minutes
In other words, simply a ‘win-win’ situation. Katie herself
issued this via her Twitter feed : ‘’ "Huge heartfelt thanks to
@boxingbooth and @AndyLeeBoxing for their support and eagerness
to get me on the show.
"Unfortunately it wasn't to be. I wish Andy the very best on the
night, a truly great ambassador for our nation." – we all agree
with Katie’s sentiments there.
Lee’s trainer Adam Booth in confirming the bout was off had this
to say : ‘ “We believe we did everything we could to make this
event happen but unfortunately on this occasion, the outcome was
not to be.”
So let’s look again at the AIBA statement : ‘’ "We had been
working to finalise and agree terms with Adam Booth in order to
ensure that the bout could go ahead. These discussions went
normally and a green light from AIBA was given on Monday 3
"AIBA’s work and efforts to accommodate the request and to
utilise the event to promote both Katie and other Irish boxers
is indisputable. We are extremely disappointed that despite our
best efforts this bout is not proceeding since it was further
proof of the growing importance of women’s boxing."
What would the exhibition bout done and who for?
a): Taylor does not need to prove anything to anyone ! Fact! She
has won 19 major international titles including 5 AIBA World
titles in a row and is currently the World and Olympic champion
as well as being the inaugural European Games 60kg champion from
Baku in June, and is also the European titleholder and that of
the European Union. Ironically about the only title she does NOT
hold is the Irish Elite champion since her opponent Alanna
Murphy has to withdraw due a family bereavement in 2014 and
Katie herself withdrew from the 2015 championships due to the
injury she sustained in the 2014 AIBA world championships in
b): The Irish boxing public rarely has had an opportunity to see
their heroine fight on a bill as important as this one and some
33,000 plus would have packed Thomond Park for the Lee v
Saunders and Taylor bouts.
c): Hundreds of thousands maybe even millions would have watched
worldwide via TV and Live streaming thus allowing fans in many
countries to see not just the Lee v Saunders fight but watch
AIBA Ambassador Taylor demonstrate her own skills and those of
women boxers throughout the AIBA empire.
d: AIBA would have been a major winner also and applauded
worldwide for having authorized Taylor (and other Irish
‘amateurs’) to take part in what was a – and remains – a much
looked forward to fight.
So why is the bout currently OFF ? Why indeed?
The writer - and this site – knows that ALL the parties
concerned are people of ‘goodwill’ and genuinely want greater
exposure for women in boxing so today we issue a please to each
and all of those involved, whether directly or indirectly.
After the weekend pick up the phone and talk to each other – see
what it takes to get that bout added again to the Lee/Saunders
undercard? Remember the old slogan ‘’It’s good to talk’’
The promoters will benefit.
Irish indeed worldwide boxing fans will benefit.
The AIBA will benefit.
Women’s boxing will get the credit it deserves.
Andy Lee will be happy
Katie Taylor and Team Taylor will be happy.
It is a ‘win-win’ situation.
Over to you – YOU can make it happen and make everyone happy!
Is it not happiness that makes the world go round?
Good Luck !