Three times World champion, five times European titleholder, a four in a row European Union winner, and arguably Ireland’s most likely Olympic Games gold medallist and yet Katie Taylor will NOT be Irish Elite champion of 2012.
That honour will fall to Carla Wright, from the Gleann club in Belfast who on 3rd February will be crowned Irish champ without throwing a punch in anger. Carla won the Ulster Intermediate championship in September also on a walk over and the Ulster Senior title in December – again without an opponent.
Taylor has wisely opted to forgo her national title rather than take on the Irish intermediate champion, Carla Wright, who has had fewer than seven competitive fights in her career, and most, if not all, of those in Novice or Intermediate events. Such a contest if it had taken place would have been a ‘complete mismatch’ – the acknowledged world’s no 1 versus a novice although one who for the second year in a row has entered the Irish senior championships, albeit last year she withdrew giving Taylor a walk over.
It is true that Taylor had a long prearranged commitment to attend a vital training camp in Georgia during the IABA Elite Senior Championships , she would have been back and able to compete in the final against Wright. Taylor always has been and remains ‘light years’ ahead of any competition in Ireland, thus her own coaches – and the iABA – insist it would be quite pointless her taking on inexperienced boxers such as Carla Wright, so the Gleann boxer takes the title by default .
IABA High Performance Unit Chief Billy Walsh said : ‘Katie is going to be away training in Georgia, and it’s an important part of her preparation for the World Championships’ . ‘The fact of the matter is that Katie is in a different league to the rest of the girls in Ireland.’