IABA's appointment of Bernard Dunne the 'perfect' call

Katie Taylor has backed the new High Performance director to thrive in the role.

Katie Taylor (file pic).
Katie Taylor (file pic).
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

KATIE TAYLOR HAS hailed the IABA’s appointment of Bernard Dunne as their High Performance director as the “perfect” call.

Dunne was yesterday unveiled in his new role after weeks of speculation linking the former WBA super-bantamweight world champion to the job, which was vacant since Gary Keegan’s departure from the Irish Athletic Boxing Association’s HP Unit back in 2008.

“I think that’s a fantastic appointment, I really do,” said Taylor, who opted to call time on her decorated amateur career last year following the loss of her Olympic title at a disastrous Rio 2016 Games for Ireland.

“It’s what the amateur boxing team needs — a real boxing man,” continued the Bray native on Dunne’s appointment. “He has an awful lot of respect and he’s been through that system as well.

“He knows what needs to be done and he wouldn’t be afraid to ruffle a few feathers in there.

“I think that’s the perfect appointment really and I was delighted to hear that so it’s exciting for the amateur team,” added Taylor, who also enthusiastically predicted that it will also mean that her old cornerman and Irish head coach Zaur Antia will now be free to concentrate on duties in the gym.

Antia was a key figure in Taylor’s march to five world amateur titles and Olympic gold.

This will give Zaur an opportunity to get back to doing what he does best really – being on the floor with boxers and then just focusing on the coaching side of things. I think it’s a perfect match really,” said Taylor, who will weigh in this afternoon at Wembley Arena ahead of her fifth professional bout.

The Bray native takes on Germany’s Nina Meinke at Wembley Stadium tomorrow night over 10 rounds on the undercard of the much-hyped world heavyweight title clash between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko.

The WBA inter-continental lightweight belt is on the line between Taylor and fellow undefeated fighter Meinke (5-0) in their world-title eliminator — the first time both have competed in a scheduled 10 rounder.

I’m scheduled to be on around seven o’clock so there’ll probably be around 90 people there for that, not 90,000,” laughed Taylor on the early start to the support bout, which is slated to take place sometime after 7pm on the Sky Box Office bill. “But, no, it should be a great crowd and it’s just a huge event. The magnitude of the event, there’s no words to describe it really.”

The five-time amateur world champion took just three days off following her eight-round points victory over Bulgarian Milena Koleva in Manchester last month before flying to the Connecticut base of trainer Ross Enamait.

A win on Saturday will boost Taylor’s record to 5-0 in the space of 22 weeks, but the 30-year-old insists she is feeling fresh.

“It’s definitely been all go over the last few months. There hasn’t been much rest in between each fight, but it’s been absolutely brilliant to stay so busy,” she said.

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“Everything’s been going well, I can’t complain.  I got a great, solid three weeks with Ross out in Vernon and I’ve had some great sparring sessions over there as well.

I definitely feel in great condition and I’ve worked very hard over the last few weeks so I just can’t wait at this stage.”

German southpaw Meinke, a native of Spandau in Berlin, is 5-0 as a pro, although she has boxed less rounds (16 to Taylor’s 22), despite the fact that both fighters have recorded two stoppage wins.

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Ciarán Gallagher

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