Having won a fifth successive European 60kg title in Rotterdam and a fourth in a row European Union crown in Katowice earlier in the Summer, Katie Taylor received the coveted ‘ Boxer of the Year’ award at the Irish Amateur Boxing Association Annual Awards Dinner at the Green Isle Hotel in Dublin on Saturday night.
For the A.I.B.A World Female Boxer of the Year it was a fitting reward in the IABA’s 100tth year and it completed a great year for the Bray native who only last week took the prestigious WBAN Women’s Boxer of the Year award for the fifth time in six years.
Yet Katie I am sure would swap them all if she were to achieve her lifetime ambition in 2012 – namely an Olympic Gold in London later this summer. Of course as she rightly says, she has not yet qualified for the Olympics.
With the Olympic qualifying event, the World Championships in China next May in mind ,Team Taylor has arranged three bouts on successive nights at the Royal Hotel in Bray on February 24,25,26 when she takes on Sandra Brugger of Switzerland, Cindy Orain of France and Ingrid Egner of Norway as part of her preparation for China. These are three of the top European boxers, who will also be in China so this will be valuable preparation for when she meets such as Queen Underwood, Sofya Ochigava and Gulsum Tatar in China and possibly later in London.
At the IABA awards dinner, Taylor was also one of six boxers to receive Elite International Achievers Awards, along with Joe Ward, Ray Moylette, John Joe Nevin, Darren O’Neill and Michael Conlan. As the IABA rightly said was another great year for Irish amateur boxing. Here are just some of the other achievements in 2011:
“Moylette and Ward, who secured gold at the 2008 and 2010 AIBA World Youth Championships in Mexico and Azerbaijan, won double gold for Ireland at the 2011 European Senior Championships.
Nevin, the youngest member of the five-man Irish 2008 Olympic team in Beijing at 18, O’Neill and Conlan qualified for the 2012 Olympics in London from the 2011 AIBA World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Nevin created history in Baku after becoming the first Irish male boxer to win two medals at World Championships level.”
Irish Elite champion Ross Hickey, meanwhile, picked up the Elite Individual Award. Christy Joyce, Michael O’Reilly, Dylan Carr and Darren Pollock were also honoured in this category.
Katie Rowland, Michaela Walsh and Austeja Acuieta were back on top of the podium after winning three bronze medals at the 1st AIBA World Women’s Youth and Junior Championships last year.
The legendary Jim O’Sullivan, who claimed 10 Irish Elite titles, was inducted into the AIBA Hall of Fame, while the Ryston BC in Newbridge, Co. Kildare picked up the Best Club and Coaches award.
The Irish European Youth, Junior and Schoolboy teams were also presented with awards last evening, while Ferdie Whelan received the Best Referee & Judge (R&J) award.
World number one Referee &Judge Michael Gallagher was presented with a Special Award just a few weeks after he picked up the AIBA 2011 R&J World award in London in December.
Dominic O’Rourke, Billy Walsh, Dominic Kiernan, Joe Hennigan and Gerry Callan also had their outstanding contributions to Ireland’s most successful Olympic sport acknowledged.
IABA ANNUAL AWARDS GREEN ISLE HOTEL DUBLIN JANUARY 14TH
Best boxer (Male or Female)
Katie Taylor (Bray)
Elite International Achievers:
Joe Ward (Moate)
Ray Moylette (St Anne’s)
John Joe Nevin (Cavan)
Darren O’Neill (Paulstown)
Michael Conlan (St John Bosco)
Katie Taylor (Bray)
Elite: Ross Hickey (Grangecon)
Intermediate: Christy Joyce (St Michael’s Athy)
Youth: Michael O’Reilly (Portlaoise)
Junior: Dylan Carr (Ryston)
Schoolboy: Darren Pollock (St Agnes)
The coaching staff at Ryston
Hall of Fame Boxer
Best Referee & Judge:
Ferdie Whelan (Loughrea)
Michael Gallagher (Tyrone)
Special Award for Services to Boxing
Dominic Kiernan (Wexford CBS)
Special Award for Outstanding Services to Boxing
High Performance Award
Gerry Callan (Irish Daily Star)
Youth Team Awards
Michael O’Reilly (Portlaoise)
Joe Fitzpatrick (Immaculata)
Stephen Broadhurst (Dealgan)
Jack Morrissey (Sacre Coeur)
Women’s Youth & Junior World Championships Team Award
Katie Rowland (Geesala)
Michaela Walsh (Holy Family)
Austeja Acuieta (Finn Valley)
European Union medallists:
Laoise Traynor (Bray)
Lauragh O’Neill (Paulstown).
European Junior Championships Team Award
Luke Thomas (Watergrasshill)
John Nevin (Cavan)
Martin Conroy (Ballyhaunis)
European Schoolboy Championships Team Awards
John Joyce (St Michael’s Athy)
James Cleary (Olympic)
Tiernan Bradley (Sacred Heart)
Craig Bonney (Trinity Boys)
Lewis Crocker (Cairn Lodge)
Sean Conroy (Ballyhaunis)
Keelan Sexton (West Clare)
Matthew Burke (Ballinrobe)