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Katie Taylor hails Ireland’s ‘amazing’ Women’s World Cup achievement and plans Aussie fight

Taylor hinted she will now consider adding a fight in Australia during the tournament to her bucket list.

Katie Taylor during a fighter's workout at BXR London ahead of her undisputed lightweight bout with Karen Elizabeth Carabajal on Saturday night at Wembley Arena in London, England. Photo: Mark Robinson/Sportsfile© Matchroom Boxing

Sean McGoldrickSunday World

World boxing champion Katie Taylor has described as ‘amazing’ the achievement of the Republic of Ireland women’s soccer team in qualifying for next summer’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

She hinted she will now consider adding a fight in Australia during the tournament to her bucket list.

Ireland’s three matches in the qualification phase take place in Sydney (against Australia), Perth (v Canada) and at the Brisbane Stadium against Nigeria on July 31.

Taylor’s manager Brian Peters manages a couple of Australian-based professional fighters and her promotion company Matchroom staged a pro show in Brisbane last month.

While still a teenager, Taylor combined her passion for boxing with a career in soccer winning 11 senior caps between 2006 and 2009. Current Irish players, Áine O’Gorman, Niamh Fahey and Louise Quinn played alongside her.

“Back then it was a dream on the horizon that one day we would play in the World Cup. But we always fell short. We didn’t even go close and never reached a play-off,” she said at the press conference in London ahead of Saturday’s fight against Karen Elizabeth Carabajal at Wembley Arena.

“It was an amazing moment to watch them qualify. They have been chasing that goal for a long, long time. They are an amazing team – with some fantastic players.

“The likes of Katie McCabe and Denise O’Sullivan are world class players,” said Taylor.

Even though she is based in Connecticut in the United States, the 36-year-old Bray fighter keeps abreast with sport in her native country.

She has taken a personal interest in the career of Irish amateur boxer Amy Broadhurst and invited the Dundalk fighter to her training camp prior to the Madison Square Garden clash against Amanda Serrano.

Since her sparring sessions in Connecticut with Taylor, Broadhurst has fashioned a famous treble, winning the World, Commonwealth Games and European titles in the light welterweight division. She was named Boxer of the Tournament at last weekend’s Women’s European championships in Montenegro.

“I had an amazing couple of weeks of sparring with Amy and we had some great chats as well. I believe she is going to be one of our greatest fighters ever,” she said.

Asked about the possibility of reigning Olympic champion Kellie Harrington and Broadhurst battling it out to represent Ireland in the lightweight category at the Paris Olympics in 2024, she replied: “It’s crazy isn’t it. It shows the strength in depth in Irish boxing now.”

A relaxed Taylor displayed glimpses of her sharp wit in the interview with Irish journalists. Her verbal jabs were as sharp as the jabs she deploys in the ring to subdue opponents.

When I asked her how much longer she could continue to box at the highest level she replied: ‘Why, do you think I’m slowing down?”

Later when I suggested doing the same job for a long time impacts on levels of motivation she replied: “So, are you fed up with your job?”

Later at the formal press conference for her fight against unbeaten Argentinian Carabajal, Taylor declared: “I genuinely believe that people haven’t seen the best of me yet and I am looking forward to showing that the best has yet to come.”

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