(JAN 4) On January 1st,
Ireland’s Katie Taylor, (one of our WBAN ‘Amateurs of the Year
2015) began 2016 as the AIBA World no.1 Lightweight just as she
has done ever since first reaching the top of the podium back in
AIBA President Dr.Ching-Ku Wu
paid this tribute to the Bray woman:
“What Katie Taylor has achieved over the last ten years in
international competition, including the Olympic Games and AIBA
World Women’s Elite Championships, has been absolutely
“The International Boxing Association congratulates and salutes
Katie. To remain at the top of our lightweight rankings for a
decade is extraordinary.
“Such remarkable consistency is a testimony to the skill,
ambition and determination of a truly world class boxer. She is
an inspiration to our young athletes throughout the world.”
Newly appointed IABA President
and Portlaoise BC coach, Pat Ryan who has been in Taylor’s
corner on many occasions in her early career, says that what the
boxer and many times Irish soccer international has achieved
will most likely ‘never be surpassed in our lifetime’ though
arguably he might have added ‘unless by Katie herself’. She
currently is the holder of every available ‘AIBA Family’ title,
as the reigning Olympic, World, European, European Games,
European Union and Irish champion.
It seems a long time now since Taylor’s reign began in New
Delhi, India in November 2006 after she beat Argentina’s Erica
Annabella Farias to claim her first World gold, a win which
lifted her to No.1 in the 60kg rankings for the first time.
Farias turned Pro a year after dropping a 31-14 decision to
Taylor, in the final, under the old computer scoring system and
is the current WBC World super-lightweight champion. Farias is
also the no.1 in the WBAN Jr.Welterweight rankings, with fellow
Argentinian, Celeste Peralta at no 3, another whom Taylor has
seen off in the AIBA world championships this time in Ningbo
City 2008 when she stopped Peralta in the first round of their
quarter final clash.
Taylor will be aiming for her sixth successive title at the
World Women’s Elite Championships and Olympic qualifiers in
Kazakhstan in May.
She could though be qualified for Rio 2016 before Kazakhstan if
she finishes in the top three at the European Olympic qualifiers
in Turkey in April.
She is currently in No. 1 spot in the 60kg rankings on 2,400
points, 850 points ahead of France’s Estelle Mosselly who is
second with Azerbaijan’s Yana Alekseevna fourth.
Any thoughts that her opponents had that she might quit at end
of 2015 were dispelled in late Fall when she received the
prestigious Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC)
award in Washington.
“It was amazing to compete at the first ever European Games in
Baku and to become the first ever women’s European Games
lightweight champion. This recognition is extremely humbling and
I am very grateful to ANOC for awarding me this honour. I am
looking forward to travelling to Rio with the Olympic Council of
Ireland (OCI) and bringing home some more medals for Ireland.”
She is mindful of the fact that many of her other 60kg
challengers, are now much improved so she is not assuming that
she will qualify :
“There’s no guarantee when it comes to the Olympic qualifiers,
some of the best boxers sometimes don’t get through so you can
never be complacent in these competitions.
“I’m just delighted to be doing something that I love and I’m
going to be doing everything I can to get there and bring home
the gold medal to Ireland again,” Taylor added.