Katie Taylor and Michael Conlan win IABA awards

AIBA World Elite champions Katie Taylor and Michael Conlan scooped two of the awards at last night’s Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) Annual Awards in Dublin.

Conlan, who became the first Irish male boxer to win an AIBA title in 2015, received the top accolade, The World Achievement Award, at the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel.

Taylor, a five-time AIBA World Elite champion, was one of three recipients of the International Achievers Awards, along with Joe Ward and Michael O’Reilly.

Taylor, O’Reilly, and Ward won European Games and European Elite gold last year, with Ward and O’Reilly also securing World Elite silver and bronze.

Dublin’s Crumlin BC were celebrating on the double after collecting the Best Club and Best Coaching gongs and the Portlaoise BC was selected as the Best High Performance club.

The Portlaoise BC claimed European Games, World Elite and European Youth gold, bronze and gold in 2015, courtesy of O’Reilly and Michael Nevin.

Ireland’s boxers, across all age groups, won 40 medals in World and European tournament last year, and qualified four, Conlan, Ward, Steven Donnelly and Paddy Barnes, for Rio 2016.

Jimmy Walsh, coach to AIBA World No. 8 ranked welter Claire Grace at Kilkenny’s Callan BC, was inducted into the Hall of Fame after a lifetime’s dedication.

“I am delighted to received the award,” said the popular winner who has over 70 years of service as a boxer and trainer to the sport.

Meanwhile the final bell has tolled on 105 years of sporting tradition and ethos in Ireland, as the Irish Amateur Boxing Association changed its name to the Irish Athletic Boxing Association.

The revision sees the IABA retain the historic acronym of Ireland’s most successful Olympic sport.

The name change was instigated after the International Boxing Association (AIBA) instructed all National Federations that the concept of amateur boxing no longer exists and to drop the word amateur from their titles.

AIBA governs three variants of the sport: World Series of Boxing (WSB), AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) and AIBA Open Boxing (AOB), now the official term for “amateur” boxing.


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