Friday 19 July 2019

Harrington crowned Europe's Elite fighter

Boxer Kellie Harrington. Photo: Sportsfile
Boxer Kellie Harrington. Photo: Sportsfile

Bernard O'Neill

World Elite lightweight champion Kellie Harrington was unveiled as the European Elite Female Boxer of 2018 at the European Boxing Confederation inaugural awards in the Netherlands yesterday.

The Dubliner received her trophy at the packed Wings Hotel in Rotterdam.

"I'm delighted to receive this award. Last year was a fantastic year for me and I'm looking forward to the challenges in 2019," she said.

Harrington and Germany's Ornella Wahner, who is trained by former Irish coach Eddie Bolger, who has also worked Harrington's corner, were the only Europeans to win gold at last November's World Championships in New Delhi.

Harrington, who boxes out of the St Mary's BC, also won European Elite bronze in 2018 and was ranked No 1 in the world at lightweight (60kg).

"I'm delighted with the award but my feet are still firmly on the ground," added the world champion, who has one eye on defending her title and qualifying for Tokyo 2020 in Ulan-Ude, Siberia next October.

"I just take it one round at a time. I don't think of how easy or hard it is going to be. If it was easy everyone would be doing it. And if you think about it being too hard you may as well hang up your gloves."

Harrington will also defend her Irish belt at next month's Elite Championships at Dublin's National Stadium, where she'll be aiming for her ninth crown.

Elsewhere, Manny Pacquiao has told Floyd Mayweather he is open to a rematch if the American is prepared to come out of retirement.

The 40-year-old retained his WBA world welterweight title with a unanimous points victory over American Adrien Broner in Las Vegas and, while he was non-committal over what may lie ahead, he insisted he is open to the possibility of gaining revenge over 41-year-old Mayweather for his 2015 defeat.

"My message is I'm still active and if he goes back to the ring and wants to challenge me, I'm a champion. Get back to the ring and we will fight again if he wants," Pacquiao said.

Irish Independent

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