| 10.6°C Dublin

'When Katie's arm went up we all went ballistic'

Close

Katie Taylor with her gold medal after beating Yana Allekseevna of Azerbaijan, in their 60kg Light Weight Final. Photo: Sportsfile

Katie Taylor with her gold medal after beating Yana Allekseevna of Azerbaijan, in their 60kg Light Weight Final. Photo: Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Katie Taylor wins gold at the World Championship in South Korea

Katie Taylor wins gold at the World Championship in South Korea

Katie Taylor, Ireland, left, exchanges punches with Yana Allekseevna, Azerbaijan, during their 60kg Light Weight Final. 2014 AIBA Elite Women's World Boxing Championships, Jeju, Korea. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

Katie Taylor, Ireland, left, exchanges punches with Yana Allekseevna, Azerbaijan, during their 60kg Light Weight Final. 2014 AIBA Elite Women's World Boxing Championships, Jeju, Korea. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

SPORTSFILE

Katie Taylor, Ireland, left, exchanges punches with Yana Allekseevna, Azerbaijan, during their 60kg Light Weight Final. 2014 AIBA Elite Women's World Boxing Championships, Jeju, Korea. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

Katie Taylor, Ireland, left, exchanges punches with Yana Allekseevna, Azerbaijan, during their 60kg Light Weight Final. 2014 AIBA Elite Women's World Boxing Championships, Jeju, Korea. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

SPORTSFILE

Katie Taylor celebrates after beating Yana Allekseevna, Azerbaijan, in their 60kg Light Weight Final.

Katie Taylor celebrates after beating Yana Allekseevna, Azerbaijan, in their 60kg Light Weight Final.

SPORTSFILE

/

Katie Taylor with her gold medal after beating Yana Allekseevna of Azerbaijan, in their 60kg Light Weight Final. Photo: Sportsfile

THE trophy shelf in Katie Taylor's home is beginning to strain under the weight of the Wicklow boxer's success as she claimed her fifth successive world title in South Korea.

The Bray woman jabbed her way to victory over Azerbaijan's Yana Allekseeva, and while her attention will now shift to Rio 2016 and retaining the gold medal she won at the London Olympics two years ago, relatives, friends and neighbours who yesterday followed her progress from the edge of their seats at home were basking in yet another stellar performance from their golden girl.

Katie's nephew Jason King (14), who is in second year at her alma mater, St. Kilian's Community School in Bray, said the whole family was delighted with the win. "We'd be watching her matches in the house and every time she gets a good jab or to see her arm going up at the end of the match, everyone just goes ballistic in the house."

Despite wearing her 17th gold medal in less than a decade around her neck, Katie hasn't forgotten where she comes from, a point made repeatedly by locals, and plainly visible at the school, where a number of students are already succeeding at the sport.

Among them is Shannon Reilly (14), who won bronze at the European Youth and Junior Championships in July and once even sparred against the 28-year-old.

Shannon said: "Katie came down to the school after she won an earlier world championship title and she inspired me to get into the sport. It's a great sport, and women have taken it by storm."

However, asked whether she knew the secret to the Bray woman's success, Shannon admitted: "It's too complicated. She's just brilliant. She's very tough. She hits very hard. That's part of it, you have to learn how to take a shot."

Fellow student Chloe Bishop (13), who won an individual bronze medal and team gold medal at the World Kick-Boxing Championships in October, said: "She's inspired me a lot. When she won the Olympics she came down and she inspired me to go out to the world championships. Loads of girls have started doing boxing now. Kick-boxing is hopefully going to be in the Olympics in 2020 so there will be loads of girls getting into the sport."

Katie's enduring career has left a mark that will last for generations in Bray, proof of which came in eight-year-old Finn Kelly, who described her as "the best female boxer in the world", adding that he too had followed in his heroine's courageous footsteps.

But her successes have touched more than just the residents of the north Wicklow town. President Michael D Higgins put into words the thoughts of the nation when he said: "All of us are so proud of her."

"I offer sincere congratulations to Katie and indeed her family on this outstanding win; where she again showed such remarkable skill, determination and courage at the very highest level.

"Katie Taylor is without doubt the outstanding Irish sportswoman of her generation and has set a standard for all Irish sportspeople to follow in decades ahead."

The judges were unanimous in their decision to award Katie the title of AIBA World Elite Lightweight Champion after four intense rounds, despite the boxer characterising her competitor Allekseeva as "very, very tricky".

Irish Independent