IABA honours Taylor and Olympic stars

The Irish 2012 Olympic team and Katie Taylor scooped the top accolades at the Irish Amateur Boxing Association’s Annual Awards Night at the Green Isle Hotel in Dublin last night.

IABA honours Taylor and Olympic stars

Taylor, team captain Darren O’Neill, John Joe Nevin, Michael Conlan, Paddy Barnes and Adam Nolan, who made up the Irish boxing team at London 2012, collected the Olympic Achievers Award.

Taylor, who won gold and the Best Female Boxer Trophy at London 2012, also took home the Boxer of the Year Award last night, while Barnes took the Outstanding Achievement Award.

Barnes claimed bronze at the 2008 Olympics and became the only Irish boxer in the 101-year history of the Irish Amateur Boxing Association to win two Olympic medals when he secured a second bronze at London.

Joe Ward, the current Irish champion, got the decision as the Best Elite Boxer by virtue of winning the Boxer of the Tournament trophy at the 2012 Irish Elite Championships earlier this year.

Irish head coach Billy Walsh, who shared the Olympic Achievers Award with Zuar Antia, Pete Taylor, Des Donnelly and Michael Gallagher, described 2012 as a year to remember.

Walsh, Antia and Taylor worked Ireland’s corner at London 2012 and Donnelly was Irish team manager, while Gallagher was selected as Best Referee & Judge at the 30th Olympiad.

“The London Olympics will live long in the memory,” said Walsh, who will follow in the footsteps of John F Kennedy and Charles Stewart Parnell when he is made a Freeman of his native Wexford in an official ceremony tomorrow. “It was a fantastic year overall, especially the Olympic Games and it is marvellous to see our boxers honoured by their own people at our annual awards. They had a great year and thoroughly deserve these awards. One of the moments that stood out for me at the Olympics was that wait before we knew Katie had won gold. It was very, very tense, and then the sheer explosion of emotion and joy when Katie was finally announced the winner after what seemed an eternity. That memory stood out for me from the Olympics. It was marvellous to be there and to be part of a truly wonderful occasion for Irish boxing and for Irish sport.”

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