Katie Taylor will warm up for Olympic qualifiers with Cork bout

Irish Elite boxing will have two weeks less to prepare for April’s crucial Olympic qualifiers in Turkey.

The European qualifiers for men and women were originally slated to begin in Istanbul on April 21, but have now been pulled back to April 7.

It is understood that the dates were changed because of the proximity of the Women’s World Championships and Olympic qualifiers which begin on May 21 in Kazakhstan.

International boxing chiefs, it is understood, are also considering moving the tournament from Istanbul to Samsun in Turkey.

Whatever the host city, the change of dates will have a slight knock-on effect on the tournaments Ireland enter and training camp dates.

Nine Irish male and female Elite champions, including current European Games gold medallist Katie Taylor and Michael O’Reilly, will compete for Olympic places in April.

Turkey kicks off the European qualification process.

Three further qualifiers in AIBA Open Boxing (AOB), the World Series of Boxing (WSB) and AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) follow.

Irish women’s boxing will have a final opportunity to qualify for Rio at the World Championships in Kazakhstan in May.

There is a WSB versus APB qualifier the same month. There is one final AOB World qualifier (for men) in Azerbaijan in June.

Meanwhile, Taylor will have at least one warm-up fight for Turkey at the Dromtariffe Hall in Kanturk, Cork on February 19 next.

The Olympic champion is due to meet Serbia’s Jelena Jelic. Jelic, ranked 26 in the world, reached the last-eight of the European Games in 2015 but was beaten by Germany’s Tasheena Bugar.

Cork will be Taylor’s first outing since beating Shauna O’Keeffe for her first Irish Elite title in the ring in Dublin last November.

All of Taylor’s Irish wins up to that point had been on walkovers.


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