Boxing: Shooting won’t put Taylor off fighting

Katie Taylor, the IBF and WBA lightweight champion, is “ready to fight” on July 28 despite the shooting of father Peter in her hometown of Bray this week.

Katie Taylor: Ready to defend two world titles in London.

The 57-year-old boxing coach was shot early on Tuesday when a gunman opened fire at the Bray boxing club.

Father of three Bobby Messett, 50, was killed during the attack while Peter, who was the reported target, sustained serious injuries. Another man was also hurt by the lone assailant.

Taylor’s boxing daughter Katie split from her trainer-father in the run-up to the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. But now her promoter Eddie Hearn has revealed that the attack in her father’s gym will not affect plans to defend her two world titles in London next month.

Dillian Whyte takes on former world heavyweight champion Joseph Parker in the main event but Taylor is expected to put her pair of belts on the line as part of a strong undercard at London’s o2 Arena.

When asked if the shooting might affect Taylor’s plans, Hearn said: “No, she’s ready to fight.

“She wants to fight on this card and it’s very likely you’ll see Katie Taylor on this one.

“Dillian Whyte against Joseph Parker is top of the bill and she could be part of a very strong undercard.”

Taylor guided much of his daughter’s glittering amateur career and was in her corner when she claimed gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games. However, the five-time world amateur champion is now trained by Ross Enamait in Connecticut and has become a two-belt professional champion within just nine fights in the paid ranks.

Taylor has designs on adding both the WBC and WBO straps to her collection before the year is out but she is likely to face mandatory challenger Ikram Kerwat on July 28 rather than take on a fellow champion.

Should she come through unscathed next month, Taylor could then return to New York on September 22 with a shot at WBO belt holder Rose Volante possible. Both Heather Hardy and Holly Holm, who have switched between boxing and MMA, are also in the running.

The Bray star’s last outing came at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center where she clinched the IBF strap by outpointing Victoria Bustos in their 10-round New York unification clash.

Elsewhere, Dublin’s Kellie Harrington advanced to tomorrow’s quarter-finals at the European Elite Women’s Championships in Sofia, Bulgariaby easing past Czech Republic lightweight Katerina Humlova yesterday. Humlova’s left jab posed a threat in the early exchanges, but once the Dubliner established her distance and timing she repeatedly dentonated two and three-punches combinations in each round.

However, Offaly’s Grainne Walsh dropped a unanimous decision to Russian southpaw Iaroslava Iakushina.

Today, Michaela Walsh is aiming for a repeat of her 2014 decision over Helina Bruyevich to guarantee herself at least bronze and become the fourth Irishwoman to medal at this level.

Walsh stunned Italy’s current World Elite champion Alessia Mesiano in the last 16, and Irish Athletic Boxing Association high performance director Bernard Dunne was impressed.

“The confidence has grown inside of her, beating a world champion and beating her quite comfortably was great to see. Michaela followed the plan and it was a fantastic performance, said Dunne the Irish team manager in Sofia.

“It’s [win over Bruyevich] a long time ago so we won’t really take too much from that. There’s been a lot of development by both athletes since then.”



Breaking Stories

GAA: Touted tickets will be cancelled

Yedlin boost for Newcastle as tests reveal knee injury is not serious

Father and son to go head-to-head for Ebor Festival opening day

Zaha’s new contract completes Palace jigsaw, says chairman Parish

Lifestyle

New father’s life ‘changed forever’ after he was run over by surgeon

More From The Irish Examiner