IS Katie Taylor Ireland’s most successful athlete since around the time Brian Boru earned a unanimous decision over the Vikings at Clontarf?
Is the Pope a German?
Taylor, Ireland’s Caribbean Queen according to the Red Tops, claimed her third AIBA lightweight title on the trot following an 18-5 win over China’s Cheng Dong in Bridgetown, Barbados last night.
The Bray fighter, once again showcasing remarkable hand speed, dominated the four-rounder to completely outclass Dong in a repeat of the 2008 final which Taylor won 13-2 in Ningbo City, China.
Two stinging left hooks in the final two rounds emphasised Taylor’s dominance, as Dong, who at 6ft had a five inch height advantage over the Irish fighter, saw her longer reach negated by rapid-fire combinations launched off the front and back foot.
For those not familiar with the female version of the noble art, women boxers do not prance around the squared circle threatening each other with fluffy feather dusters. They’re hitting each other in the head.
It’s not a tickling competition to paraphrase Ricky Hatton.
Taylor, 24, who was involved in an all out war of attrition with Queen Underwood of the USA in Friday’s 60Kg semi-final, was also presented with the boxer of the tournament award at the 75-nation tournament in the Caribbean island state.
Saturday’s win, which was achieved with her dad and coach Peter and Ireland’s Georgia born coach Zuar Antia working her corner, was her 100th victory from 106 bouts since 2001, an outstanding level of consistency considering that three of her defeats were debatable to say the least.
She also has four European and three European Union titles to her name on top of scooping the 2008 AIBA World boxer of the year award in that nine year period.
En route to Saturday’s gold she beat five opponents from the most heavily populated countries in the world – India,Brazil, Russia, USA and China.
Her victory also sends out a strong signal of intent to all the pretenders to her throne ahead of the London Olympics in 2012. In short, she’ll be the one to beat.
The 2012 AIBA Women’s World Championships in China will act as the only Olympic qualifier for female pugilists.
Thirty six place will be up for grabs at the 30th Olympiad in the English capital across three weight categories – (flyweight, lightweight (Taylor’s division) and middleweight.
Meanwhile, the Barbados World Women’s Championships has gone a long way to improving the image of the game. Some of the bouts were top class. Granted, female boxers do not punch as hard as men but they have replaced power-punching with technique.
In fact, I reckon that a lot of the women are more technically proficient than their male counterparts in the hardest game of them all.
So is the female of the species deadlier than the male?
Ask Katie Taylor – stand about five feet back when you venture the inquiry.
Meantime, London Calling.