The sport of boxing has always had a tough reputation be it at professional or amateur level. I have been at two boxing events run by two Kerry clubs in the last 12 months, Trojan Boxing Club in May 2015 and Tralee Boxing Club in February 2016. Both events were exceptional in the way they were run and also the quality of each fight. This of course is down to the quality of the boxers and also the coaches that nurture that love of boxing in the first place.

I have always had an interest in boxing and the training aspect has always fascinated me. Looking at the work that both Pro’s and Amateur’s put in to prepare for fight is a sight to behold and after spending an hour last week in the presence of one of America’s best female amateur boxers Queen Underwood I got a small insight into the world of a dedicated boxer who puts hours into her training regime to put her at the top of her game.

She will now head to the Pro game and having spent time with her and also watching her performance last Saturday, I have no doubt that she will give the Professional game a real go. Katie Taylor of course needs no introduction, multiple medal winner at National, European, World and Olympic level. She is a true champion. She won her first fight in 2016 in Mallow the previous evening and headed to Tralee to the Brandon to see could she defeat Queen Underwood one final time before her amateur career came to a close at the end of the 4 rounds in Tralee. She did exactly that with a commanding victory.

At the end of each round Katie Taylor would let off a flurry of punches that anyone would find difficult to stop and this was again in evidence on Saturday and this lead her to victory. She now turns her attention to qualifying for the Rio Olympics. After her 1st two fights 2016 I have no doubt that she will give the qualifying her best shot and we will see her in Brazil later this year.

Having spent an hour last week in the company of all at the Tralee Boxing Club, I got an insight into the workings of club and how they run things. I am grateful to Tommy and Noel Kelliher for giving me the access to Queen Underwood as she prepared to face Katie Taylor last Saturday. Thanks also to the younger members of the club who made me so welcome and club chairman Bryan O Sullivan who took time out of his busy training regime to speak with me also.

Boxing as I said at the beginning has got a reputation of being tough and not that well-liked by the majority of people but I hope to try and change that perception. What boxing teaches you is discipline, desire, passion, honour, respect.  


Cian Mc Gibney


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