Katie lands boxer of the year award
BOXING BRAY WOMAN LIFTS PRIZE IN MOSCOW
WICKLOW’S KATIE Taylor was named AIBA female boxer of the year in Moscow last week.
The award completes an incredible twelve months for the 22-yearold Bray woman who retained her World lightweight title at the fifth AIBA Women’s World Championships in Ningbo City, China last month as well as collecting the boxer of the tournament award.
Speaking from Moscow, Taylor, who is coached by her dad Peter Taylor, said that she was very proud to accept such a prestigious honour.
She said: ‘I would like to thank AIBA for this very special award, it means a lot not only to me but also to all female boxers who practice our beautiful sport. Women’s boxing is amazing at the moment, the level is increasing and the recent Women’s World Championships were a perfect example of the very high standard we find ourselves competing in.
‘This award is great recognition of the excellent progress women’s boxing has made in recent years and I would like to dedicate it to all the female athletes around the world who are training hard and competing in the hope that we will be able to participate in the 2012 Olympic Games.’
The President of the Irish Amateur Boxing Association, Dominic O’Rourke said that Taylor’s award was another proud moment for the IABA who celebrate their 100th birthday in 2011.
He said: ‘Katie is a tremendous ambassador for Irish sport and her achievement in retaining her World title in China and also being named boxer of the tournament was phenomenal.
‘The award is another proud moment in the history of the Irish Amateur Boxing Association. Katie’s achievements are an inspiration to everyone involved with Irish amateur boxing and a source of immense pride.’
Meanwhile Taylor scooped The Irish Times/Irish Sports Council ‘Sportswoman of the Month Award’ for November, having retained her World title in China, beating local favourite Cheng Dong 13-2 in the final.
Last year, she won the European Championships for the third time and was named the overall winner of the 2007 Sportswoman of the Year Award. In China, as in the other four major tournaments, Taylor was named ’Boxer of the Tournament’. She awaits the decision of the International Olympic Committee on whether women’s boxing will be included in the London 2012 Games. If so, she will have her chance to fulfil a lifetime’s ambition: to win an Olympic gold for Ireland.
En route to the Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA) world final in China, Taylor beat Anna Carruthers of Australia 20-3, stopped Celeste Peralta of Argentina in round one and outclassed Azzynat Gadzhieva of Russia (20-2) in the semi-final.
Her only close contest came against Czech fighter Danusa Dilhafova, who she beat 4-3.
However, the technical delegate said that she was ‘embarrassed’ by the officiating in that match, which Taylor clearly won by a wider margin. The referee concerned did not officiate again in the tournament.
Taylor, who is also a senior Irish football international, travelled to Moscow last week to collect her AIBA female boxer of the year award. Speaking of the news that she has been named Sportswoman of the Month, Taylor, said ‘I am very grateful for this acknowledgement of my achievements. It is a great honour.’
‘Katie is ahead of the posse at the moment,’ said Irish Olympic boxing coach Billy Walsh. ‘She’s a phenomenal talent. Just a very natural, gifted girl. A powerful girl and very dedicated. Never takes anybody for granted. She has beaten a lot of these girls before. Every time she goes to meet them it is a fresh page. Mentally, she is really strong. An exceptional talent. She trains with our senior male team, the team that went to the European championships. She sparred with those guys and gave them as good as she got. Please God, three weights will be allowed into the Olympic Games so she can show she is pound-for-pound the best boxer in the world.’
Katie will battle it out against previous month’s winners, for the title of Sportswoman of the Year 2008 at an awards ceremony in Dublin on January 23. The other monthly winners include Angela Walsh, who captained Cork’s Gaelic Football team to All-Ireland glory, Chloe Magee, a 20-year-old badminton champion from Donegal who went on to qualify for the singles in Beijing; Nina Carberry, an accomplished jockey who had a memorable visit to Cheltenham; Leona and Lisa Maguire, 13-year old twins from Co. Cavan whose flare for golf brought them to the final of the Irish Close; and Siobhan Byrne, the German-born 23year-old who became the first female Irish fencer to compete in the Olympics in almost fifty years.
Established in 2004, the aim of the Sports Woman of the Year awards is to recognise the abilities and achievements of women in Irish sports.
The awards run over a twelve month period, with the judges selecting a winner each month for her ability to excel at sport. From the twelve monthly winners, the overall Sportswoman of the Year is selected and announced.
The winner is decided by a judging panel, which is represented by individuals from The Irish Times, RTE, and the Evening Herald.
Katie Taylor, with her dad Peter Taylor at the awards ceremony in Moscow.