Whilst the Irish men are participating in the World Championships in Baku, three times World Champion Katie Taylor will be preparing for the European women’s Championships where she hopes to gain an unprecedented “five in a row” title.
At the 3rd St John’s Boxing Club tournament in Fermoy, on Sept 30th, the 25 years old from Bray meets Dutch champion Jessica Belder, one of the many who will be challenging for her title a month from now in Rotterdam.
At 30, Jessica Belder, an accountant with Price Waterhouse, and from Amsterdam, has had some good wins of late including a win against French titleholder Estelle Mossely in the Nikolaev City Cup earlier this month – an event won by Russia’s Sofya Ochigava, twice a world champion who now fights at 60 kg and will be one of Taylor’s main competitors if they both qualify for London 2012.
Ukraine’s Alexandra Sydorenko later defeated the Dutch woman in the semi-final but was herself injured and unable to fight Ochigava for the title. In Nikolaev, Ochigava defeated Sweden’s Helena Falk 16-8. Falk you will recall recently lost to Katie Taylor in Bray on a unanimous decision.
Dutch women’s boxing is, as is the case in Ireland, ever improving and indeed they have two realistic medal prospects for Rotterdam in Maricelle DeJong, the 33 years old and Nouchka Fontijn though it is thought believed that Belder is there mainly to gain additional experience before London 2012 (if she qualifies). It is unlikely that Belder will defeat Taylor in Fermoy and the St John’s Club led by Pa Flynn are again to be congratulated on putting on another interesting card featuring Taylor.
The Bray woman has been training with the Irish Elite men’s team in Germany for the past week. Her father – and trainer – Pete had this to say about the Cologne training camp:-
“You could see that they lads were getting stronger and stronger every day in Cologne. There’s a great buzz in the camp and confidence is high” . “Katie got some good sparring in Cologne. She’ll have her final contest before the European Championships in Cork “.