Katie Taylor, Michaela Walsh, Joanna Lambe and Claire Grace will represent Ireland at the 8th AIBA World Elite Women’s Championships in Korea in November.
Taylor will be aiming for her 5th successive lightweight title at the tournament at the Halla Gymnasium venue on Jeju island between November 13th and 25th.
Walsh, boxing for Northern Ireland, was edged out on a split decision by Great Britain’s Olympic champion and World No. 1 Nicola Adams in the Commonwealth flyweight final in Glasgow in August.
The Belfast stand out competed at bantamweight for Ireland at the 2014European Women’s Championships in Budapest Romania,
Walsh and Lambe both reached the quarter-finals in Budapest, while Grace secured bronze at the tournament after making the last-four, where she was beaten by English welterweight Stacey Copeland.
The top-eight and top-four finishes were enough to lift Grace and Lambe into the AIBA World rankings for the first time. Walsh, who had previously been ranked by AIBA, courtesy of her bronze medal win at the 2011 World Youth Championships in Turkey, moved back into the rankings.
Taylor won gold in Budapest, her 6th successive top of the podium finish at this level.
The Bray woman will have one eye on the history books in Korea, but admitted that she can’t drop below a certain level of performance.
“I want to make history in my sport, I want to be a highly decorated amateur champion and continue to win titles,” said the AIBA World No 1.
“I’ve a fight in Limerick and a fight in Cork coming up (October 11th and 12th), so, yeah, things are going really well and I’m feeling really strong and sharp and hopefully I’ll defend my title.
“It’s going to be tough and it’s always difficult to defend those titles. It doesn’t come easy and I think it gets harder and harder every year because you are going in as the one to beat and everyone raises their game against you, so I have to be at my very very best and box better than I’ve ever done before to win those competitions.”
2014 AIBA World Women’s Elite Championships Jeju, Korea November 13th/25th
51kg Michaela Walsh (Holy Family)
57kg Joanna Lambe (Carrickmacross)
60kg Katie Taylor (Bray)
69kg Claire Grace (Callan)
Team manager: Anna Moore
Coaches : Pete Taylor, Zuar Antia, Gerry Storey
Physio Mary Louise Ryan