As revealed last week on SportsNewsIreland, efforts were being made to find another opponent for World Champion Katie Taylor to fight in front of Irish fans before she heads off to defend her European titles, and such an opponent has now been found in Maike Klueners from Neuss, in Germany, like Taylor 24, but with a completely different background in the sport. Maike , trained by Pasquale Ferrano at the Dusseldorf BoxRing club is a former Muay Thai German and European champion,and a bronze medallist at the 2006 World Muay Thai tournament.
She is better known in the boxing ring for her performances in the 57kg class rather than at 60 kg. Like so many fighters striving for success in London 2012, Maike now finds it necessary to move to the 60 kg category.She is currently ranked no 10 in Boxing’s latest world rankings at 57kg. She has in fact fought at 57kg in the 2010 World boxing championships in Barbados where she got a bronze, losing only to Tunisia’s Rim Jouini in the semi-final.
She is though improving all the time, even if her record is nothing sensational with some 12 defeats in 33 fights since moving to boxing.
Her clash with Taylor is scheduled for May 6th at the Walter Raleigh Hotel in Youghal, Co. Cork in a tournament organised by the St John’s Boxing Club in Fermoy. Taylor has always been very popular in Cork – indeed she performed the opening ceremony for new St John’s Boxing Club in its home town in October 2009 when one of the club’s founders, Pa Flynn described Katie Taylor as ‘ one of the greatest sportswomen this country ever produced’.
“I was the Irish team manager in 2005 when Katie won her first gold medal at the European Amateur Championships in Norway. She was only 17 at the time,” Mr Flynn said.
“It will take a very good girl to beat Katie for a gold medal at the 2012 Olympics,” he added.
Certainly it is great for boxing in Ireland that fans around the country can see Taylor in action,outside of the National Stadium.There is a huge new interest in womens boxing in Ireland due in no small measure to the successes of Taylor in recent years and to the great work of the IABA Women’s Development Manager, Anja Norman.
In recent months Taylor has also fought in New Ross (Co Wexford) and in Dungarvan (Co.Waterford), on both occasions defeating World No 2, China’s Cheng Dong convincingly.
In 2011, the Bray fighter , is due to defend her European Union title in Katowice, Poland in late May and her European Championship crown in Rotterdam in late October so the Youghal event well be one of the last opportunities that Irish fans have to see her in action before she leaves for foreign lands.
Fans travelling a long distance and worried about getting out of Youghal late on a Friday night need have no fears. Walter Raleigh Hotel’s General Manager, Michael Davitt tells me that Single rooms are available for the night at 59 Euros B+B or a Twin/Double at 79 Euros inc B+B.
Further news of the tournament will appear on the hotel’s website www.walterraleighhotel.com and on its Facebook pages whilst hotel booking can be made of course through the website or by phoning Telephone: 024-92011 or Fax: 024-93560.
Historic Youghal, Europe’s 2nd oldest Port, has lots to enjoy for visitors to the area inc lovely sandy beaches nearby so what a great weekend in store for those who want to combine seeing our World Champion in action on Friday 6th May with the delights of East Cork .
Finally, a reminder that Katie Taylor is in action in Bray on Good Friday 22nd April, when she takes on the Spanish titleholder, Jennifer Miranda Maqueda at the Royal Hotel & Merrill Leisure Centre in her home town of Bray – an occasion when Ms Miranda will be seeking revenge for her loss to Taylor in their last 16 bout at the European Union Championships in Keszthely, Hungary, last August. Having enjoyed so much media coverage in recent weeks from her Lucozade ads, I’m sure Katie will be too much energetic for her European opponents in the coming weeks.