Taylor names opponents for start of Road to Rio campaign
BOXING:Olympic champion Katie Taylor has named her two opponents for the beginning of her Road to Rio campaign at the Bord Gáis Theatre on February 24th and March 22nd. She will take on German Maike Klueners in February before switching her attention to reigning Ukrainian champion Yulia Tsiplakova in March.
Tsiplakova is ranked 20 in the world in the 57kg division, while Klueners has slipped off the 2013 rankings but is an experienced campaigner, who has recently won the German championships. The 26-year-old from Bray had a clear points win over the German in May 2011 when they met in Youghal.
Taylor’s father and full-time trainer Pete acknowledged that finding opponents willing to step into the ring with his daughter has become an increasingly difficult task, especially this year with the European Championships taking place.
“It’s always been tough getting opposition for Katie but it’s even tougher since the Olympics. We tried for Queen Underwood and a couple of the other top Americans, but their national championships are coming up at the end of March so the dates didn’t really suit them,” said the trainer.
“Very few of the Europeans are willing to box her . . . but both Maike Klueners and Yulia Tsiplakova accepted the challenge.