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©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan Katie Taylor will hope to add to her European and World championships at London 2012
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Kenny Egan: "There will be a lot of girls out there looking for Katie's scalp"
Olympic silver medallist predicts tough qualifiers for Ireland’s great boxing hope at London 2012

IRELAND’S SILVER MEDAL hero from Beijing 2008, Kenny Egan, believes that Katie Taylor deserves to capture Olympic gold at London 2012.

Egan told The Score that Taylor, the current World and European champion in the 60kg division, has all the raw materials required to go the distance at the Olympics.

The 25-year-old from Bray is currently in Ukraine for a training camp in preparation for the World Championships in China next month.

The Clondalkin boxer trains alongside Taylor under the Irish Amateur Boxing Association’s High Performance scheme and feels a gold medal is within her grasp if she can negotiate a tough qualification process.

Egan said, “I saw that Katie was 14-to-1-on in the bookies. It’s madness. She has to qualify first.”

Taylor must travel to China for the final Olympic qualifiers at the World Championships, some two months before the games begin. Egan commented:

She could have to win five fights to qualify. There will be a lot of girls out there looking for her scalp. The Chinese will have some good fighters and the American (Liz Leddy) is supposed to be shit-hot.

Deserves to be an Olympian

Egan believes that Taylor has grown accustomed to the weight of expectations on her ever since it was announced that women’s boxing would feature at the games.

He added, “(Her father) Pete has done a great job at keeping everyone away from Katie and restricting her media work to the odd interview. Katie knows that all eyes are on her but she is very grounded. She is a determined character and very talented. She deserves to gain Olympic status and deserves to win the gold medal.”

Egan’ lost out to Joe Ward in the light-heavyweight final at the national championships. ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Egan’s chance to surpass the gold medal he won in China four years ago was dashed when he lost to Joe Ward at the Irish Elite finals at the National Stadium in February.

The 30-year-old has no intention of hanging up his boxing gloves but will join the RTÉ commentary panel for the games. He will provide in-studio insights alongside Irish boxing greats Michael Carruth, Mick Dowling and Bernard Dunne.

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