Taylor added to ‘Big Bang’ undercard

KATIE TAYLOR sparred with world champion Guillermo Rigondeaux when he visited Limerick a few weeks ago and now she has been added to the undercard at the CityWest Convention Centre on Saturday night when the double Olympic champion defends his WBA super bantamweight title against Willie “Big Bang” Casey.

This won’t be the first time Taylor has figured on a world title bill. Two years ago, almost to the day, she beat American opponent, Caroline Barry, on the undercard to Bernard Dunne’s defeat of Ricardo Cordoba for the very same crown that Casey and Rigondeaux will do battle for on Saturday night.

This time it appears as if Taylor’s opponent will be Helena Falk from Sweden. The Swede was pencilled in after Denitsa Eliseeva (Bulgaria), who was given an outrageous 5-1 hometown decision in the recent ranking tournament in Pazardjik, turned down the invitation. Taylor had beaten her twice, comfortably, on previous occasions.

Falk, a bronze medallist at the European Championships in Nikolayev two years ago, was also the victim of a hometown decision in Pazardjik where she lost 1-0 to Eliseeva in the semi-finals.

Saturday night will be the start of a busy week for Taylor who has been named on the Irish team to box China in New Ross on Sunday and in Dungarvan next Wednesday.

Those combined contests could provide and interesting marker along the road to London 2012 because her opponent is Cheng Dong, a woman she beat in the finals of the last two world championships.

A third match with China is scheduled for the National Stadium tomorrow night week but the Irish team has not yet been named for that international.

Taylor’s father and trainer, Pete, said his daughter would have no problem fulfilling the three fixtures ahead of her.

“Provided there’s no mishap or accident or injury on Saturday night, she definitely will fight again in New Ross on Sunday,” he said.

“It’s no different than being in a championships or a multi-nations tournament, after all. You fight on successive days or nights in those all the time.

“We’ll just see how she comes through the weekend before committing ourselves to Dungarvan.”

There are three women’s bouts on the Dungarvan bill.

Cavan flyweight, Ceire Smith boxes Yujie Luo while Drimnagh middleweight Sinead Kavanagh takes on world champion, Dongmei Wang.

Clonmel heavyweight Con Sheehan, four times national senior champion, will box the Chinese national champion, Maimaiti Zaifula.

David Oliver Joyce (St. Michael’s, Athy), who stopped world lightweight champion, Dominico Valentino, in the World Series of Boxing in Istanbul last week, meets Asian Games champion, Qiang Liu.

There will be 12 contests in all on the bill with Chris Phelan (Ryston BC), Tyrone McCullough (Golden Gloves), Philip Sutcliffe (Crumlin), Jason Quigley (Finn Valley), Davy Joe Joyce (St. Michael’s Athy) and Chris Devanney (Ballinacarrow, Co. Sligo) also featuring on the Irish team.

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