In September of this year the governing body of amateur boxing, AIBA, the International Boxing Association (amateur) rejected claims made by Katie Taylor that amateur boxing is “going backwards” Taylor (2013). Taylor, as we all know, is reigning Olympic Champion and is now preparing for a fifth World and sixth European title. It is fair to say that Katie is the greatest female boxer of all time. She made the claim after the lack of fighting opportunities following her success in the London 2012 Olympic Games. The tipping point was the fact that the European Championships, this summer, were held in a tent with a 100 seat capacity!
When Taylor clinched the Olympic title in London her immediate response as to her possible future as a pro fighter was an emphatic no, her focus was on retaining her gold medal in Rio 2016. The professional game was not for her.
AIBA responded by disagreeing with Wicklow woman’s claims on the regression of female boxing “far from it in fact”
Our development work at grassroots levels along with the inspiration offered by boxers like Katie Taylor, Nicola Adams, Claressa Shields and others is visibly taking effect on the number of young women who are engaging with the sport. AIBA (2013)
Golden Wonder: Katie Taylor
So, how has grassroot development shown fruition?
Last night in London’s Excel Arena, in front of a non-sell out audience of hundreds, saw Taylor’s first fight since July. It was, as ever, a concise efficient performance with Taylor overcoming a last minute replacement opponent, Canadian, Caroline Veyre. Tonight, less than 24 hours later, Taylor fights again, this time in the Community Centre in Bray against Mira Potkonen from Finland. No doubt this will be a huge night for Taylor as it takes place across the road from her estate but to go from no fights in nearly six months to two, small time, under publicised events inside 24 hours, hardly constitutes going forward.
Watterson, J. (2013) Amateur boxing’s governing body Aiba rejects Katie Taylor’s claims, Available at: http://www.irishtimes.com/sport/other-sports/amateur-boxing-s-governing-body-aiba-rejects-katie-taylor-s-claims-1.1534992 (Accessed on 30th November 2013).
O’Donnell, D. (2013) Katie Taylor set for first professional fight, Available at: http://sportsnewsireland.com/boxing/boxing_irish/katie-taylor-set-for-first-professional-fight-2013-05-23/ (Accessed on 30th November 2013).
Kelly, N. (2013) No hype or fanfare, but Katie still setting the same high standard, Available at: http://thescore.thejournal.ie/katie-taylor-dublin-bray-1199620-Nov2013/ (Accessed on 30th November 2013).