Thursday 22 February 2018

Katie Taylor hungry as ever to add to medal haul

Gold medalist Katie Taylor arriving home at Dublin airport from the European Union Women's Championship
Gold medalist Katie Taylor arriving home at Dublin airport from the European Union Women's Championship

Bernard O'Neill

KATIE TAYLOR uttered the words her international rivals didn't want to hear after winning her 15th major title at the EU Women's Championships in Keszthely, Hungary.

"I'll be looking to win a few medals at those tournaments as well," said the AIBA World No 1 in reference to the 2014 World and European Championships.

Taylor claimed Ireland's fifth gold of the EU Championships – and her fifth successive EU lightweight title – on Saturday following a unanimous decision over France's Estelle Mossely.

The Bray woman also scooped the Boxer of the Tournament award, less than a year after she won gold and the best female boxer award at the London Olympics.

Ireland secured 15 medals – the biggest haul in the 102-year history of the IABA – in Keszthely.

Kristina O'Hara, Amy Broadhurst, Jacqui Lynch, Grainne Gavin won Youth and Junior gold. Lianne Murphy, Ciara Sheedy and Niamh Ball claimed silver and Claire Grace, Christine Desmond, Cathy Higgins, Ciara Ginty, Maeve McCarron, Christine Gargan and Leah Marie Doyle-Roche won bronze.

The medal-laden Irish team arrived home through Dublin Airport last night, and Taylor, an inspirational figure to the squad, believes the future of Irish women's boxing is bright.

She said: "It's fantastic to be part of such a successful team. The Youths and Juniors were just brilliant and I'm just proud to be part of this incredible team.

"Five gold, three silver and seven bronze medals! It's unbelievable to come away with so many medals from this tournament. The future of Irish women's boxing is bright with all these young girls coming through.

HONOUR

"This is my first major tournament since the Olympics Games and to win gold boxing for your country is always the highest honour. I'm always very proud of that.

"It's been a great week, but it was tough. The heat inside the venue was unbelievable at times as there was no air conditioning. Thankfully, we all came through it.

Taylor also gave the '10-point must' scoring system, which has replaced computer scoring, the nod and will have one eye on Mary Kom's record of five World titles at the 2014 AIBA World Championships.

She added: "You have to make sure you win each round under 10-point must. Sometimes, when you're 10 or more points up (under computer scoring) you might start coasting and taking it easy a bit.

"But you can't do that with 10-point must. I think it makes the fights a lot more exciting and it's better for the sport, although I have seen some poor decisions out here."

Meanwhile, David Price will go back to the drawing board with his mentor Lennox Lewis after suffering another devastating stoppage defeat to Tony Thompson.

The giant Liverpool heavyweight was desperate to beat Thompson after his shocking loss to the American in February.

But the American proved it was no fluke by getting off the canvas to stop Price in the fifth round of their rematch at the Echo Arena.

Price linked up with former undisputed heavyweight champion Lewis to prepare for the fight and the pair will continue to work together in the future.

"It's back to the drawing board," said Lewis. "We know what we need to fix so we'll go back to the drawing board and fix it.

The consensus from his team was that Price's stamina let him down this time rather than his punch resistance.

The 6ft 8ins Scouser was in control and had Thompson down and seemingly out with a beautifully-timed right hand in the second round.

But Thompson managed to beat the count and with Price visibly shattered after three rounds, the veteran seized the initiative before forcing the stoppage in the fifth round with a series of unanswered heavy shots.

Irish Independent

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