Wednesday 21 February 2018

Boxer of the Year Katie Taylor lines up Grand rematch with Underwood

Katie Taylor
Katie Taylor

Bernard O'Neill

AMERICAN lightweight Queen Underwood is likely to be the next opponent for Olympic, World and European champion Katie Taylor.

Taylor's coach and dad, Pete Taylor, has confirmed that her first fight since London 2012 would be at the Grand Canal Theatre in Dublin on February 24.

Liverpool southpaw Natasha Jonas – who Taylor beat en route to the top of the podium at the London Olympiad – was offered a rematch for February 24 but declined the offer.

Taylor has beaten Underwood three times in the past, although the Seattle fighter ran her close at the 2010 AIBA World Women's Championships in Barbados.

Meanwhile, the Bray woman will accept her third AIBA World Female Boxer of the Year award in Yerevan, Armenia, on Friday – on finals day at the AIBA World Youth Men's Championships.

The Taylors fly out on Thursday and Pete Taylor is keeping his fingers crossed that Kurt Walker and John Joe McDonagh make it through to the finals at the Sports and Concert venue in the Armenian capital.

Walker, who boxes out of the Canal BC in Lisburn, beat French flyweight Sam Kistohurry 18-14 in the last 16 yesterday, while McDonagh shaded Kiwi Eric Finau 8-7.

Walker faces Filipino Ian Clarke Bautista in the last eight today and Crumlin BC light-heavy McDonagh is in against Russia Idris Shakhmanov. Both Irish boxers are one win away from claiming at least bronze.

"It would be fantastic if Kurt and John Joe made it through to their finals on Friday, said Pete Taylor. "They're boxing well in Armenia so fingers crossed they can win.

"Katie has won the AIBA award two times in the past and it is a great honour to receive it a third time. She is very proud to accept this award from AIBA."

Meanwhile, Irish team captain Keith Flavin, Chris Nevin and Hughie Nevin, a cousin of 2012 Olympic silver medallist John Joe Nevin, bowed out of the World Youths yesterday.

Flavin lost to Cuba's Andy Cruz-Gomez, while Chris Nevin was edged out 7-6 by Italy's Stefani Gasparri and Hughie Nevin was beaten 18-13 by Mexico's Raul Curiel-Garcia.

Elsewhere, Tyrone's Michael Gallagher will collect the AIBA Best Referee & Judge Award in Yerevan on Friday.

Oleksandr Usyk of the Ukraine will receive the AIBA World Male Boxer of the Year award.

Irish Independent

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