Though there no official confirmation yet from Brian Peters Promotions , SportsNewsIreland understands that Katie Taylor will return to the ring – following her Olympic Gold winning performance in London 2012 – by taking on German champion Maike Klüners on Sunday, February 24th at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in Dublin.
The bout will see Taylor start on “The Road to Rio”, a journey she is hoping will end with a second Olympic Gold at the 2016 games in Brazil.
Klüners had a very convincing 25:5 win over Bavaria’s Miriam Aicher in the recent German championship final in Ploen (Schleswig-Holstein) taking an early lead 6:1 at end of round one and reinforcing her supremacy as she took the second 14:3. She is much more experienced now that when the two met in Youghal in May 2012 when the five time European, four times world champion won a unanimous points verdict. The 26 years old from Neuss, in Germany, gained a bronze medal at 57kg in the 2010 European Union championships in Kezthely, Hungary (where the 2013 EU titles will also be decided), losing only to Estelle Mosselly of France in the semi-final.
The German champion’s background in the sport is very different from Taylor’s. Maike , trained by Pasquale Ferrano at the Dusseldorf BoxRing club is a former Muay Thai German and European champion, and was a bronze medallist at the 2006 World Muay Thai tournament before turning to boxing.
This is likely to be the first of a possible three occasions on which they could meet in 2013 since both would be expected to compete not only in the European Union championships in Kezthely in May but also in the 2013 Eropean Championships, possibly in Ireland in October. For Taylor it will be the first of at least four bouts planned before the end of March with not only the two “Road to Rio” bouts but also internationals against Russia in both Belfast (17 March) and Dublin (18th March) to follow.
The bout is already a sell out for the first appearance, since the win over Ochigava of the Olympic champion. Not having fought since that glorious day in August, Taylor will need this bout though, as always, she has been training hard.
Of her re-appearance in an Irish ring, promoter Brian Peters said recently:
“Katie will be immortalised for what she has achieved in her career. Even before London her achievements were extraordinary while the role she played in having women’s boxing included as an Olympic sport should never be forgotten.
She lifted the whole nation during the summer and in an age of fleeting celebrity she is truly a sporting icon and a national treasure. I’m delighted that people will have a chance to witness her talent first hand at a venue like the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre.
We want to make this a family event for young and old because Katie is such an inspirational figure and as a nation we could not ask for a better role model for the next generation.”