(FEB 25) It was a night of ‘mixed
emotions’ at the Mount Brandon Hotel & Conference Centre in
Tralee on Saturday as Katie Taylor enjoyed a second win of the
weekend in Munster, on this occasion overcoming the strong
challenge of Seattle’s own Queen Underwood in the four rounder
hosted by the Tralee Boxing Club.
Queen bows out : photo courtesy TraleeToday
For the Bray woman, it augurs
well for the challenges ahead including the European
Confederation (EUBC) Olympic qualifiers in Samsun, Turkey and
later the 2016 AIBA Women’s World championships in the
Kazakhstan capital, Astana.
A top two finish in Turkey or reaching the semi-finals in Astana
would guarantee Taylor a place in Rio 2016 where she hopes to
defend that Olympic crown from London 2012 following a ‘battle
royal’ against Sofia Ochigava.
Quanitta ‘Queen’ Underwood bade farewell to the ‘amateur’ ranks
in Tralee as on returning to the United States she is scheduled
to turn pro in March and will be hoping to add several Pro
titles to the Pan American and nine USA titles she has won in
the past 11 years as well as various other medals in the AIBA
world at national and international level.
The American started off at a furious pace, seeking to take
control from the opening bell but met her match in Taylor who
had particularly good rounds two and three and pressed home her
advantage in the final stanza leaving little doubt about the
final verdict though it has to be said that Underwood ‘fought a
gallant fight’ and would have defeated most of today’s
‘amateurs’. It was the fourth meeting between the duo with the
Bray boxer maintaining her 100% record.
This of course was also a repeat of the 2010 AIBA World
championships semi-final in Barbados when Taylor emerged
victorious 18-16 having been behind with barely a minute left of
Both boxers received a well-deserved standing ovation from the
‘full house’ present at the Brandon Hotel and congratulations
too to the Tralee BC for putting on this show which included
many leading young boxers from Munster.
After the bout, the sporting American was asked why she had her
last ‘amateur’ bout in Ireland rather than at home in Seattle:
“Coming to Ireland was an opportunity I could not miss. So I
decided to come here and have my last fight (as an amateur) and
it turned out to be the best fight,” she went on.
“She (Taylor) improves all the time. I told her it’s hard being
a champion and being on top for so long. You’ve got to keep the
hunger going, you’ve gotta keep the desire.
“You got so many people wanting you to lose. People are saying:
‘We want someone, beat her, beat her.’ That’s how it was for me
in the States. I’ve been a champion since 2007 and they’re
always looking for someone to take my spot.
“So much of that just got the best of it, and I’m just like,
‘you know what, forget it.’ No support, no one wants me to win,
I just might as well focus on myself.”
For the Bray woman this was the 61st consecutive occasion on
which her hand was raised in victory and her 163rd win from 170
bouts to date, just 40 of them on Irish soil.
As Queen Underwood returns home, WBAN wishes her every success
in the Pro ranks ; she will long be remembered for her
outstanding career as an amateur albeit she never did have her
hand raised in victory against Katie Taylor but then precious
Video of bout courtesy Patrick Flynn/Fermoy/Facebook