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Star boxer Joanne to box in Taiwan


Joanne Richards with her supporters at St Michael's Boxing Club

Joanne Richards with her supporters at St Michael's Boxing Club

Joanne Richards with her supporters at St Michael's Boxing Club


New Ross boxer Joanne Richards jetted out for Taiwan on Monday to compete in the 'Junior Olympics' of women's boxing , the AIBA World Women's Youth and Junior Championships.

Joanne, 16, who is originally from Clonroche and is now living in Templeudigan, is part of a 13-strong Irish squad who will be competing against the elite of women boxers from across the world.

A St Michael's Boxing Club, New Ross, member for many years, Joanne has made history by being the first female Wexford boxer to compete at the games.

Her trainer, Stan Blanche, who is joining her at the games in Taipei, which begin today, said: 'It's a massive competition. It's a junior Olympics with female boxers from 52 countries taking part. Joanne is in good form. Her weight is perfect and she is as sharp as ever.'

Mr Blanche described Joanne's style as being similar to Chris Eubank.

'She is fluent on her feet and fast with her hands. She is an ex Irish dancing champion so she is elusive. She is excited about her upcoming bouts and a bit nervous naturally. It's important for her to make it this year as next year she'll have her Leaving Certificate so the boxing will have to take a back seat somewhat.'

Boxing in the 66kg weight division, the 5th year pupil will potentially come up against some serious competition in primed fighters from Eastern Europe, America, Cuba and Russia.

'There is a whole list of great boxing countries but Ireland is right up there with the best these days. There is nobody looking forward to fighting an Irish boxer. Katie Taylor has inspired all the girls. Joanne is making history as she if the first girl from Wexford to ever go out to these championships.''

Joanne trains six times a week doing a mixture of skipping, bags, pad work and sparring, as well as gym work.

Mr Blanche said he is looking forward to the competition which runs until early next week. He will return with Joanne and the Irish team on Friday, May 24.

'You are always learning. Events like this are important for women's boxing as the sport doesn't get great coverage.'