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.
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 four finish in Turkey or reaching the final in Astana would guarantee a place in Rio 2016 where she hopes to defend that Olympic crown from London 2012 and that ‘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 that contest.
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.
As Queen Underwood sets out for home, we wish her every success in the Pro ranks and will long remember her outstanding career as an amateur albeit she never did have her hand raised in victory against Katie Taylor but then precious few have.
(Image source and credit: IABA Facebook page)
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