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4 Irish female pro boxers, who aren't named Katie Taylor, to keep an eye out for in 2019

Siobhán O’Leary, Elaine Greenan, Cathy McAleer and the returning Lynn Harvey will fly the flag for Irish women’s pro boxing alongside world champ Taylor over the next year.

Going into the new year, there are currently an all-time high five Irish women fighting in boxing's professional ranks.
Going into the new year, there are currently an all-time high five Irish women fighting in boxing's professional ranks.

AN ALL-TIME HIGH five Irish female professional boxers will aim to take names in 2019 as the women’s sport bids to continue its recent growth.

WBA and IBF world champion Katie Taylor continues to blaze a trail on the world stage since turning over in 2016, but four of her prizefighting compatriots have their own big plans for the new year.

Here are Ireland’s ‘other’ female pro boxers as things stand, one of whom actually predates Taylor in the pro ranks and the other three who debuted in 2018.

Siobhán O’Leary

County: Kerry

Division: Super-featherweight

Record: 1-0, 1KO

In a November interview with ahead of her professional debut at Boxing Ireland’s superb Celtic Clash 7, Kerrywoman O’Leary said of the transition to the pro ranks:

I’ve sparred without headguards before a little bit so that won’t be a shock – the eight ounce gloves might be, although most likely for the other girl!

She wasn’t wrong: O’Leary blasted out Hungarian Klaudia Csazsar [1-1-1, 1KO] with a nuclear right hand, her sizeable travelling support nearly taking the roof off Good Counsel GAA Club in Drimnagh.

And Csazsar, while unheralded, is no slouch. The previous month, she had taken unbeaten Italian prospect Sara Corazza the full six rounds a division above at lightweight.

The Eddie Hyland-trained O’Leary, an LIT graduate who’s now a social care worker with St. Vincent De Paul, is a late-comer to the sport having first laced up the gloves in 2012 — the same year as when Katie Taylor won Olympic gold in London.

The Munster puncher will be aiming to kick on when she returns to the ring on the next few Celtic Clash cards in the new year, and while she remains green in professional terms, it’s not inconceivable that another couple of victories akin to that which she achieved on her debut would see O’Leary move beyond domestic level by the end of 2019.

You can follow O’Leary on Facebook and on Twitter

Lynn Harvey

Screenshot (3630) Kilbarrack's Lynn 'The Hunter' Harvey could fight for Celtic and/or continental titles in 2019.

County: Dublin

Division: Light-flyweight

Record: 5-1, 4KOs

If you’re not necessarily a keen observer of the sport but feel you might recognise Harvey, it could be from her appearance on the Irish version of First Dates which went down a treat with the viewing public.

The colourful 37-year-old isn’t a new face on the boxing scene either, though: Harvey turned professional in 2015, amassing a record of 4-1 with three of her wins quick, the sole defeat on her record being dealt out by the much-larger Mary Romero in what was Harvey’s second pro fight.

‘The Hunter’ retired from the sport in the summer of 2017 citing personal reasons but returned from an 18-month ring absence on Celtic Clash 7 — one of an unprecedented two women’s fights on an Irish card alongside Siobhán O’Leary’s pro debut.

There, Harvey stopped Hungarian journeywoman Kitti Kolompar in just 82 seconds, moving to 5-1 in the punch-for-pay ranks.

As she mounts her comeback, the Kilbarrack native will aim to enter regional and continental title contention next year.

You can follow Harvey on Instagram

Cathy McAleer

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46447616_10156768401243550_304451174843547648_n McAleer celebrates her debut victory with legendary Irish boxing trainer John Breen.

County: Antrim

Division: Bantamweight

Record: 1-0

The only female pro boxer based up North, former kickboxing and karate star McAleer has made the jump to the sweet science at the age of 40, warring her way past tough Bulgarian Teodora Hristova on an enthralling debut in her hometown.

McAleer, who has run karate schools for the past 16 years and has also challenged for a world title in K1, will return for her sophomore bout on Mark Dunlop and MHD Promotions’ A Night to Remember card in February.

Revered trainer John Breen, initially reticent to take on a female fighter, was won over as soon as he took McAleer on the pads.

But she had further work to do in order to pursue her passion after years spent in different combat sports: before she was granted a boxing licence, she sparred two male fighter as well as former two-time world title challenger Christina McMahon from Monaghan under the observation of the Boxing Union of Ireland.

McMahon’s career is a prime example of 40 not being too old to make a serious dent on the world scene, and while McAleer is intent on taking her boxing journey one fight at a time, her goal is to reach the pinnacle of her new endeavour in the coming years.

You can follow McAleer on Twitter

Elaine Greenan

County: Monaghan

Division: Light-welterweight

Record: 2-2

Another 40-year-old new pro with links to McMahon is Elaine Greenan, the Scotland-based Monaghan 140-pounder who turned over in the summer.

Monaghan’s Greenan, who lives in Livingston and was a Scottish Elite champion as an amateur, lost her first two pro fights on points but has improved drastically in the months since, winning two fights in as many weeks at the end of November and the start of this month.

Greenan, who works for security guard service JL Security in her adopted homeland, has previously done some training with fellow Monaghan woman McMahon in the latter’s base.

Her four pro fights thus far have taken place in the UK, and she’s expected to return for a fifth early in the new year as she bids to sustain her recent momentum and continue her development.

Murray Kinsella, Gavan Casey and Andy Dunne look back on a memorable year for Irish rugby.

Source: Heineken Rugby Weekly on The42/SoundCloud

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