Katie Taylor the latest addition to star studded Limerick event

World and European Lightweight Champion Katie Taylor is the latest addition to a star studded supporting cast on the Yanjing Fight Night at the University Sports Arena, Limerick on Saturday, May 15th. The Bray woman is widely recognised as the World's best female boxer and Limerick's fight fans will get to see her in action for the first time when she features in an International Amateur contest on the undercard of local hero Andy Lee's fight with former European Champion and World title challenger, Mamadou Thiam..

The bout is all part of Taylor's preparations ahead of her defence of the World title in Barbados in September while her ultimate target remains the London Olympics in 2012. The 23-year-old has enjoyed a hectic few months recently even managing to fit in a trip to the White House to meet U.S. President Barack Obama.

The visit came about after the First Lady, Michelle Obama, a former boxer herself heard all about Katie's incredible achievements over the past few years in becoming a 4 time European Champ and 2 time World Champ and invited her to Washington for the annual St. Patrick's day celebrations at the White House.

“It was an honour to be invited to the White House and it was great to meet President Obama and the First Lady,” said Taylor. “She did a little bit of boxing when she was younger and like me she used to be trained by her Dad. It was a tremendous experience and I never dreamed that my boxing career would present me with opportunities like that.”

Taylor is no stranger to pro-am events having featured at The O2 in Dublin last year on that famous night when Bernard Dunne lifted the World title and she is hoping for more of the same in Limerick next month. “It was a fantastic experience for me to fight in front of such a big crowd watching at home on TV and in The O2 that night. The reception I got was unbelievable and it was a great night for Irish boxing with Bernard winning the World title as well.

“The atmosphere there was incredible so I'm really looking forward to fighting in Limerick on the Andy Lee card. Andy boxed that night as well in The O2 and we both got the right results so hopefully we'll be able to keep that run going in Limerick.”

Promoter Brian Peters says he's delighted to be able to showcase the professional and amateur codes again on one event. “I think Katie's fight at The O2 last year woke a lot of people up to just how talented she is,” said Peters. “Her big wins on the international stage have generally come abroad and away from the spotlight but that fight really gave her the stage her talents deserve. She is a phenomenal athlete and a terrific role model for any young athlete coming through regardless of their sport.

“As a nation we have been very lucky to produce some great fighters down through the years and Katie is right up there with the very best of them. It''s shaping up to be an absolutely fantastic night of boxing in Limerick and I'm delighted that the professional and amateur codes will be working hand in hand again on this event.”

Taylor is equally delighted at the opportunity to showcase her skills in front of a live TV audience on RTÉ TWO. “I think the pro-ams are a great idea. They allow me to have the best of both worlds, fighting on big events here at home in Ireland but also allowing me to keep my amateur status so that I can defend my World and European titles and hopefully go to the London Olympics in 2012.”

Taylor is just back from a trip to Turkey where she participated in the prestigious Prime Ministry Cup in Ankara. The competition featured the World's best boxers, both male and female but Taylor made short work of her opponents en route to the final where a bicep injury forced her withdrawal. Despite this she still returned home with the boxer of the tournament award, proof of just how impressive her performances had been on the road to the final.

Taylor however is adamant that the injury won't cause her any further problems ahead of next month bout in Limerick. “The injury is fine now, it just needed a little bit of rest but I'm ready for action again. I was supposed to be traveling out to Poland on Tuesday with the rest of the Irish team for the Felix Stamm Multi Nations tournament in Warsaw but obviously with the chaos caused by the Volcano in Iceland it looks like we won't be able to fly now but we'll see what happens.”

Taylor's opponent for her International Amateur contest on the Yanjing Fight Night will be confirmed shortly. It's all part of a star studded night of Championship boxing headlined by Limerick's own Andy Lee and also featuring 2 Irish title fights and a host of Irish boxing's most promising talents.

The Irish title action will see local fan favourite Jamie Power clashing with John Waldron for the Irish Light Heavyweight title while Mayo's Michael Sweeney will be out to end Dubliner Ian Tims unbeaten record in a grudge match for the Irish Cruiserweight title.

Undefeated Cavan star Andy Murray will be looking to continue his perfect record and follow on from his impressive win over Oisin Fagan in the main event on RTÉ's last Pro Box Live show. The 27-year-old lightweight has 18 straight wins to his name in the pro ranks and is currently rated number 3 in Europe.

Recently crowned Irish Heavyweight Champ Coleman Barrett will also be in action. The Galway native has won all but one of his 12 pro fights to date with his only defeat coming to Olympic Gold medallist and new European Champ Audley Harrison in last year's Prizefighter final.

Limerick fight fans will also be excited by the return of Cuban heavyweight phenomenon Mike “The Rebel” Perez to Shannonside. The Cork based southpaw is unbeaten in 8 pro contests and in his last Limerick appearance the former World Junior amateur Champion needed just 41 seconds to chalk up another KO victory.

Perez's compatriot Luis Garcia will also be out to impress. Despite having had just 5 professional fights the 22-year-old Super Middleweight is already ranked in the world's top 50 and has been described by many boxing insiders as a special talent and a future World Champion.

Another intriguing contest on the bill will see Mullingar's Paddy McDonagh taking a major step up in class as he tackles former Irish Champion and Andy Lee opponent Ciaran Healy in just his third pro fight while the Limerick based Galwegian Alan Donnellon makes his professional debut in a Light Middleweight contest.

Tickets for the Yanjing Fight Night priced €30, €40, €50, €60, €75 and €100 are available from Ticketmaster (phone 0818 719 300 or visit and all usual outlets.

Article posted on 19.04.2010

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