Having practically raised the roof at the Excel Arena during last year’s Olympic Games Katie Taylor is hoping that Irish fans can repeat the trick on home soil for her bouts in Dublin and Castlebar later this month.
The Irish fans famously topped the charts at last years games as the atmosphere for Taylor’s fights reached fever pitch with a sound level of 113.7 decibels recorded at the Excel Arena in London’s docklands. It was the highest decibel level recorded at the games and fell just short of the noise created by a jet engine. Now Taylor’s fans will get the opportunity to recreate that atmosphere when she returns to the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in Dublin on Friday, March 22nd before heading West on Sunday, March 24th for a bout at the Royal Theatre in Castlebar.
The Olympic Gold medallist tackles Ukrainian champ Yulia Tsiplakova in Dublin before facing old rival, Denista Eliseeva – the last boxer to have secured a victory over Taylor, in Castlebar. Having already fought in front of a packed house at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre last month with a comprehensive win over German champion Maike Klueners promoter Brian Peters believes fans will raise the roof for their hero once again.
“Obviously it’s pretty hard to recreate the emotion and tension from the Olympics but the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre certainly lived up to it’s name last month,” said Peters. “It was rocking for Katie’s fight so we’re going to measure the decibels there on Friday week and then again on Sunday in Castlebar to see how they compare to the Olympics.
“If anyone’s worth making a lot of noise for it’s Katie Taylor. She was terrific against Klueners and the frightening prospect for her competitors is that she still seems to be improving. Despite having won five European Championships, four World titles and an Olympic Gold medal the hunger she still has is unbelievable.”
Taylor is relishing the prospect of another two fights in quick succession as part of her preparations for the upcoming European Union Championships which will take place in Hungary in early July.
“It was like the Excel Arena all over again stepping into the ring at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre. I got a huge reception from the fans and it really lifts you. I was happy with my performance but I’m always looking to improve and it’s those little improvements that can be the difference when it comes to the major championships.”
Katie’s father and trainer Pete is keen to stress how seriously they are approaching this months bouts. “I don’t think people realise just how seriously Katie and her opponents are taking these bouts,” said Pete. “Katie’s approach is to treat every fight as if it’s an Olympic final and to never look beyond her next fight. For the opponents it’s a massive opportunity for them to take on a reigning Olympic Champion on a big show so they all raise their game because of that. Katie is the girl they all want to beat now so it’s a lot of pressure on Katie but she handles it brilliantly.”
Taylor’s opponent in Castlebar, Denista Eliseeva is the last women to have had her hand raised against Taylor. Eliseeva was awarded a controversial points win over Taylor just over two years ago in a multi nations tournament in her native Bulgaria and there was little doubt that it was a hometown decision.
“Whenever people say that she is the last girl to beat Katie I always correct them and say she was the last to get a decision over her,” explained Pete. “Nobody in the arena outside of the judges thought that Katie lost that fight. Katie has avenged every defeat she’s ever had and she beat Eliseeva later that same year so we’re looking forward to meeting her again in Castlebar.”
Joining Taylor in action on the March 22nd Bord Gáis Energy Theatre bill will be the 2012 Olympic team captain and European Silver medallist Darren O’Neill.
While in Castlebar the bill will also feature local hero and European Champion Ray Moylette and Taylor’s Olympic and Bray boxing club team mate, Adam Nolan in separate bouts along with a host of local talent.
Tickets for Katie Taylor’s bout at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in Dublin on Friday, March 22nd are priced from €40 (with discounted tickets available for Under 14’s from €25) and are available from Ticketmaster.ie (0818 719 377) or the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre box office.
Tickets for Katie Taylor’s bout at the Royal Theatre, Castlebar on Sunday, March 24nd are priced from €25 and available from Ticketmaster.ie or the Royal Theatre Box Office (0818 300 000). A booking fee may apply.
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