Friday 23 February 2018

Taylor added to undercard for September's Limerick extravaganza

Katie Taylor added to the undercard for Andy Lee's showdown with Billy Joe Saunders
Katie Taylor added to the undercard for Andy Lee's showdown with Billy Joe Saunders

Bernard O'Neill

Former Irish team-mates and reigning World and Olympic champions Andy Lee and Katie Taylor will be reunited next month.

Taylor has been included on the Lee versus Billy Joe Saunders undercard at Thomond Park. Lee defends his WBO world middleweight title versus the British 2008 Olympian at the home of Munster rugby on September 19.

Taylor will box over four two-minute rounds in Lee's home town to International Boxing Association (AIBA) rules in front of an AIBA-approved referee and judges.

The Olympic champion, an AIBA Ambassador for women's boxing, has been given a list of potential opponents to consider. It is understood that September's card will also include an AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) fight. Joe Ward and David Oliver Joyce are Ireland's APB boxers.

Taylor boxed and beat Allana Murphy in the first official Irish Amateur Boxing Association-sanctioned women's bout at the National Stadium in Dublin in 2001. Lee was included on the same card.

Both boxers also won on the Bernard Dunne undercard in Dublin in 2009. Lee described Taylor as phenomenal, while her dad and coach, Pete Taylor, has one eye on February's World Championships and Olympic qualifiers.

Lee said: "What Katie has achieved in her career has been absolutely phenomenal. I think Thomond Park will be a way for Ireland to say thank you to Katie for everything that she has achieved for our sport and for putting women's boxing on the map."

Five-time world champion Taylor will be aiming to become the first boxer to win six successive world titles in Kazakhstan in February.

Pete Taylor added: "Katie is very much looking forward to appearing at Thomond Park. It will obviously be a fantastic occasion for everyone and a massive night for Irish boxing. This is all part of her build-up toward the World Championships and Olympic qualifiers."

Meanwhile, Darren O'Neill has been named Irish team captain for the European Elite Championships, which begins in Samokov, Bulgaria next Friday. The seven-strong Irish squad, which includes Michael Conlan and Joe Ward, departs on Wednesday.

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