Monday 22 January 2018

Katie Taylor has been added to the card for Andy Lee's world title fight in Thomond Park

Andy Lee and (right) Katie Taylor
Andy Lee and (right) Katie Taylor

Bernard O'Neill

Olympic champion Katie Taylor has been added to the Andy Lee versus Billy Joe Saunders undercard at Thomond Park.

Lee defends his WBO World middleweight title against the British 2008 Olympian at the home of Munster rugby on September 19.

Taylor will meet an opponent to be confirmed on the night over four, two minute rounds.

The Bray orthodox and her former Irish team mate will hold a press conference at the Shelbourne Hotel next Tuesday, August 4.

The media briefing begins at 12.30 and both boxers will be available for interview and photo opportunities.

Taylor is building up toward February’s AIBA World Elite Women’s Championships and Olympic qualifiers in Kazakhstan.

The five-time AIBA World Elite champion will be aiming for her sixth successive title in Central Asia on the road to the Rio 2016.

Saunders is the mandatory challenger to Lee’s WBO belt, acquired after the Limerick southpaw stopped Russia Matt Korobov in the 6th round in Las Vegas last December.

Taylor's addition to the card reignites an interesting subplot after Saunders caused uproar last week with a sexist rant which was uploaded to Youtube.

"I think women are there for sex...." he said.

"Women's there for cleaning, cooking, washing and sex. They're not to put a headguard on and get punched in the face, although, I must say, Katie Taylor's done extremely well and she once punched Frankie Gavin up in sparring.

"All jokes aside, that's my opinions on women, but I'm just... ah... a sex maniac."

Olympic gold medallist Taylor responded to the video on Twitter, stating: "I feel sorry for his wife and daughter if that's his only view of women."

Saunders subsequently issued a grovelling apology for his comments.

“About all this Twitter stuff I keep getting – all this bad stuff saying what I’ve said about women – it’s only a joke," he said.

"Listen, Katie Taylor is a very, very good fighter. She’s done what she’s done. Nicola Adams and all that. I’ve got the highest respect for them. I’m not saying women shouldn’t box – it’s their choice. They’ve won gold medals when I’ve got beat in the second round of the Olympics – they’re Olympic champions. I just want to clear that up. I reckon they’re very good to the sport.

“We’ve got to get men off the street and young boys off the street the same way we have to get young girls off the street. They’re showing that side of it. I don’t want to be painted as a man who thinks women are there for cooking and sex – even though they’re still good at it.

"If people know me, they know what sort of character I am. I say things. If I can help anyone I will and I’m not one of those people that goes around taking the piss – ‘let’s have a laugh’, ‘have a banter’. I do my job and the fans like it. But I’m sorry if I’ve upset anybody and I apologise but that’s all I can do.

“I apologise. If anybody’s offended by that, I’m sorry. When you see me, just come give me a cuddle and I’ll cuddle you back.”

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