Katie Taylor getting ready for Rio 2016

Katie Taylor’s brother Lee and Irish interim head coach Zaur Antia will be working her corner at the Mallow GAA Complex in Cork tonight.

Katie Taylor getting ready for Rio 2016

The Olympic champion, once again minus her dad and long-term coach Pete, begins her journey toward the Rio Olympics with her first contest of 2016 versus Serbia’s Jelina Jelic on a Kanturk BC 16-bout fight night.

The four-rounder begins a weekend which sees Taylor face America’s Queen Underwood at the Mount Brandon Hotel in Tralee, Kerry tomorrow evening.

Jelic reached the last-eight of the European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan in 2015 and is currently ranked No. 26 in the world.

Taylor has been ranked No. 1 in the world for the last ten years.

The Leeside outing is part of Taylor’s build up toward April’s Olympic qualifiers in Samsun, Turkey. The top two lightweights (the finalists) in Samsun book tickets for Rio.

Likewise with Cork’s Christina Desmond and Belfast’s Michaela Walsh, who will line out at middleweight and flyweight in Samsun.

Women’s Olympic boxing is restricted to three weight classes – fly, light and middle. Desmond and Walsh are included on the Irish squad for next week’s Strandja Elite multi-nations in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Taylor’s last “defeat” was at the Strandja multi-nations in 2011 after she was adjudged to have “lost” to Bulgaria’s Denitsa Eliseyeva in the 60kg final.

Eliseyeva apologised to the Bray woman for the judging after the final, but Taylor hasn’t entered a multi-nations tournament since.

Former Pan American champion Queen Underwood is expected to attend tonight’s Kanturk BC promotion.

The London 2012 Olympian arrived on Wednesday night ahead of her last fight in the amateur ranks against Taylor before turning pro.

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