(DEC 4) The 2016 IABA
Women’s Elite championships drew to a close at the National
Stadium in Dublin at the weekend with some excellent
performances from a number of boxers, and not all of them
The bout which attracted most attention in the National media
was that in which young Clonmel BC boxer, Shauna O’Keeffe gloved
off against Olympic and five times world champion Katie Taylor
making a welcome return to the ring.
Taylor v O’Keeffe 60 kg final
No surprise though as to who the
2016 champion is . Katie Taylor now holds an unprecedented set
of titles – Olympic, World, European Union, European
Championships and European Games crowns as well as her Irish
titles but amazingly it was her first bout against an Irish
woman since she beat Alanna Murphy in the first officially
sanctioned female bout in Ireland at the National Stadium in
64kg champ Kelly Harrington
She told the ‘Irish Examiner’s
boxing correspondent Bernard O’Neill : “I’m delighted with the
win and delighted to have got the opportunity to box for an
Irish title for the first time” said the AIBA World No. 1 ranked
lightweight. Come 1st January she will have been World ranked
no.1 for 10 years, a record unlikely to be broken unless by the
Bray woman herself.
She took time out to praise her opponent’s performance when they
met after the final and again in the media.
“I would like to thank Shauna for such a good fight tonight.
She’s a talented boxer. This is my first competitive fight since
the European Games in Baku earlier this year.
“The Olympic qualifiers are next April in Turkey and then
there’s the World Championships, I welcome competitive fights
ahead of those qualifiers.”
O’Keeffe surprised many of the pundits with a fine display and
truth to tell the final scorecard did not do justice to the
great effort she put in. (40:34 40:36 40:36) . So how did she
see the bout?
Shauna told ‘Fightstore’s Liam McInerney : “I feel unbelievable
there are no words to describe how I’m feeling. I wanted to go
in and perform and put on a good show and that’s exactly what I
did. Nobody in the whole of Ireland can take the experience that
I just got off her.
“The whole of my hometown Clonmel have been following my every
fight and they all got on a bus to watch me tonight and they
helped me in the ring.
“I plan on going into next year and taking over the 60kg. I wish
Katie Taylor all the best and I hope I fill her boots. She told
me to keep training hard and she told me I’m the future.”
She also told RTE Sport: “I’m very happy with the defeat"
"I know it’s a weird thing to be saying. But there’s no one in
the whole of Ireland that got into the ring with Katie Taylor
and can say that they got beat by Katie Taylor.
"I went in and I left my mark with Katie. I gave it to her. I’m
21 years of age. This is only the start for me,” adding that she
was now setting out on the Road to Tokyo 2020 which she believes
will be her big year. Good Luck to Shauna in her future ring
Michaela Walsh denied Ceire Smith a sixth title in the flyweight
class, the Belfast stand out dropping down a weight from bantam
to take a unanimous decision in one of the Olympic weight
classes for women.
Lauren Hogan secured the first belt on offer on a split
following a close contest with Donna Barr. “Lauren is only
nineteen and she has already won two Irish Elite titles. We’re
absolutely thrilled with the win,” said coach Liam Brereton.
European Elite bronze medallist Clare Grace also emerged
victorious, the Kilkenny welter beating Grainne Walsh. Moira
McElligott and multiple champion Kelly Harrington triumphed at
the expense of Joanne Lambe and Cheyanne O’Neill, while Dervla
Duffy earned a majority decision over Elaine Harrison after one
judge scored it even.
This was in fact the 6th occasion on which Kelly has had her
hand raised in victory in these championships whilst Dervla
Duffy also added another to her already impressive Championship
record when she overcame a strong challenge from Elaine
Diana Campbell took the last belt on offer and brought the
curtain down on the Women’s Championships on a unanimous
decision over Maeve McCarron. Cork’s Christina Desmond received
a walkover in the 75kg final.
There were of course some very close fights and a few
contentious decisions, as always. See for yourselves the actual
bouts and form your own views on bouts such as Hogan v Barr,
Walsh v Smith and Lambe v McElligott as well as the O’Keeffe v
Finals – Results:
48kg Lauren Hogan (St Brigid’s Edenderry) beat Donna Barr (Twin
51kg Michaela Walsh (Holy Family GG) beat Ceire Smith (Cavan)
54kg Dervla Duffy (St Brigids Kildare) beat Elaine Harrison (Ardnaree)
57kg Moira McElligott (St Michael’s Athy) beat Joanne Lambe (Carrickmacross)
60kg Katie Taylor (Bray) beat Shauna O’Keeffe (Clonmel) 3-0
64kg Kelly Harrington (Glasnevin) beat Cheyanne O’Neill (Athlone)
69kg Clare Grace (Callan) beat Grainne Walsh (Sparticus) 3-0
75kg Christina Desmond (Fr Horgan’s) W/O
81+kg Diana Campbell (Garda) beat Maeve McCarron (Carrigart)
All the finals here – courtesy of IABA’s ‘You Tube’ coverage.