Recently boxing fans learnt that women’s boxing superstar Katie Taylor is to have her first bout of 2016 on the Kanturk Boxing club card on 19th February at the Dromtariffe Community Hall in Cork, Ireland.
Her opponent is one of Sweden’s most talented young boxers, Jelena Jelic and naturally she too is hoping to progress to the Rio Olympics via the AOB European qualifiers in Turkey in early April.
So as little is known (so far anyway) in Ireland of the boxer who will ‘glove off’ against Katie Taylor, your correspondent here took the opportunity of discussing her plans with the Malmo BC lightweight. Will she, we wondered, be aiming to represent Sweden in those forthcoming AOB EUBC Olympic qualifiers?
“No. I will represent my native Serbia. That was my goal since I decided to box for Serbia, to qualify for the Olympic Games.”
I want on to ask, presumably you are eagerly looking forward to meeting the AIBA World No. 1 and Olympic champion in Kanturk?
“Definitely. We have never really been each other’s competitors , because in every championship that I have boxed at the European championships , World championships and European Games we’ve always been in different weight groups.”
She added she was really looking forward to the challenge and trip to Ireland:
“Yes it’s going to be a good day that day, should be a great experience and I am looking forward to my short visit to Ireland. I think it will be a really fun evening in Kanturk even though the Hall will be packed with her fans.”
I then asked her how did the fight come about?
“Patrick Flynn contacted my friend Patricia Berghult about me and then I contacted him the same day and told him that YES I will take the fight. Some weeks ago now, I underwent a minor surgery but now I’m feeling good and have been training 100% so 5 weeks of hard training will be sufficient.”
So, much to look forward to then for the fans in Kanturk, but what if the 20 year old does not qualify for the Olympics?
Well it’s a bit early to talk about turning Pro but my own ‘best guess’ is that if she does not earn a place in Rio then she may well turn professional, and she is clearly a talented boxer who could go far in later years as a pro.
Sadly neither the Serbian coach nor her club coaches will be able to travel to Ireland since the Taylor bout clashes with prior commitments they have, but she will be in good hands however, with boyfriend and himself a champion boxer, from Colombia, Emil Pettersson in her corner.
A reminder that admission will be €20 and Juveniles €10 – understandably no unaccompanied children will be allowed admission.
***Note: Changed venue as this Kanturk card has now been moved to the Mallow GAA Sports Complex***
(Images credit: Jelena Jelic)
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