Plans for Katie Taylor’s next two bouts on home soil have now been completed and as we previously reported she meets Europe’s no. 3 Finland’s Mira Potkonen at the Ballywaltrim Community Centre in Bray on November 30th.
For the four times World and current Olympic Champion, it will in fact be the second bout in 24 hours as she is scheduled to meet current joint United States no 3, Melissa Parker in the Long Room at the Mansion House on 29th November.
Whilst it would be a major upset if the American were to defeat the Bray woman, nonetheless Parker is a formidable opponent as her record shows.
Since she began boxing competitively in 2004, the former United States Marine Corps operator, has won the Women’s Regional Golden Glove Tournament, the Women’s National Golden Glove Tournament, the U.S. Elite National Championship three times, the National POW Tournament and has been ranked number one in the world albeit at 57kg..
“My passion for (boxing) is so great that I refuse to lose,” she said. “When I train, I train to do anything and everything. The way I can adapt to any kind of boxer is my biggest strength. I can take anything. I can fight going anywhere.”
In April of this year, Parker reached the semi-final of the 2013 U.S Nationals at Lightweight, going under to eventual champion Queen Underwood in a tough semi-final battle.
U.S Boxing said of that fiercely fought bout: “Parker, a mother of two, who had taken an extended hiatus from the sweet science, kept the bout close as both she and Underwood looked to feel one another out.”
“Underwood began to find her rhythm in the second round, finding openings in Parker’s defense but both enjoyed momentum swings through the middle two rounds. Parker came out aggressive in the final round, looking to take control of the bout, but Underwood wouldn’t be denied and the 2012 Olympian advanced on to the finals with a unanimous decision.”
According to her ‘LinkedIn’ profile, Melissa enjoys ‘family time and church’ as ‘she loves bible study and worship’, so has much in common with Taylor. She also enjoys working out, always looking for a challenge. She was very active in sports throughout high school being on the softball and track team. She started boxing in high school and continued in the military.
Melissa Odessa Parker was born and raised in New York City. Her family moved to Connecticut where she completed high school and joined the United States Marine Corps; serving four years active duty. Melissa is married with two children. After getting out the military in 2010, Melissa moved to North Carolina with her husband who is currently a Warrant Officer is the United States Marine Corps.
In 2005 she represented the United States competing in the Women’s Worlds in Russia; placing fifth in the world. In 2006, she was inducted into the Connecticut hall of fame for amateur boxer of the year. While in the military, she trained and represented the All Marine Boxing Team.
In 2009 she earned the Triple Crown Title by winning all three major Boxing National Championships in the United States; placing her number one in the country all four quarters of the year. Indeed in 2009, she won every major tournament that she entered.
So a tough challenge facing Taylor on 29th in the Mansion House. 2014 brings sees Taylor face several new challenges. There are European Championships (venue still to be decided) and a fifth defence of her World Crown in Canada later in the Year whilst also ‘On The Road To Rio’ in 2015 she will have the opportunity of becoming the first ever holder of the European Games 60kg Gold (Europe’s answer to the Olympics) in Baku, Azerbaijan
After a quiet 2013 in which the only significant Women’s title was the European Union Championships in Hungary where she came out on Top of the Podium for a record fifth successive time, Taylor is training hard ahead of her November fights.
“Katie is preparing for what will be two tough meetings against Melissa and Mira in Dublin and Bray,” said her Coach and Dad, Peter.
“They are both experienced opponents and both fights will be big tests.
“Katie is building up toward her European and World Title defences next year and the two upcoming fights are part of her preparations for what will be a big year.”