Katiemania at Liffey Valley as Taylor warms up for rematch

Hundreds turn out to see boxer take part in public workout at Dublin shopping centre

Katie Taylor has battled through a few scraps in her time but she would have found a few of them easier to overcome than trying to leave Liffey Valley Shopping Centre on Wednesday.

The boxer was dwarfed by her black-clad security personnel as she made her way back from a specially constructed ring in the middle of the centre where she took part in a public workout.

Her security detail had hoped she would be like Moses parting the Red Sea as people made way for her, but instead they crowded in on her with mobile phones, scraps of paper and boxing gloves they wanted signed.

The event was organised to showcase Taylor’s rematch with Chantelle Cameron at the 3Arena on Saturday. In May at the same venue Cameron inflicted the only defeat of Taylor’s professional career to date.


A bombastic boxing announcer introduced Taylor as the “fighting pride of Ireland, Olympic gold medallist and the first undisputed lightweight champion of the wwwwwworld Kay-Tee Taylor”.

On her way back to the dressingroom, though, she stopped for Molly Delaney (3) who could hardly be missed sitting on her father’s shoulders wearing a jumper with Katie Taylor’s name on it. Her boxing-mad father David Delaney brought Molly and her sister Clodagh (14) to meet Taylor.

“She is the boss, number one. My little one loves her. She will have a better performance this time. She’ll know what she is up against,” David said.

Stephen Raymond brought his daughter Faye Raymond (8) who is in St Matthew’s Boxing Club in Ballyfermot. Faye dressed up as Taylor for the occasion, wearing a World Boxing Championship belt made of cardboard around her waist. “There is no better role model for young children. We hung around hoping to get a glove signed but it was too busy,” said Stephen.

It was a common refrain from many present. Jayne O’Donnell and her cousin, Máiread Erwin, drove from Ballymena, Co Antrim in the hope of meeting Taylor. “We have been here queuing for a couple of hours. I was hoping to meet her, but she shimmied through too fast,” said Ms O’Donnell.

“We got a photograph with the promoter Eddie Hearn and a couple of the boxers. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get Katie. She was ushered out too quick.”

Ms O’Donnell will make another five hour round trip on Saturday night for the fight in Dublin.

“She’s a legend, an icon and an inspiration in women’s boxing. She has done so much for the sport. She’s just brilliant. She’s going to win on Saturday night.”

Not everyone among the predominantly young crowd was there for Taylor. Quite a few were there to support heavyweight Thomas ‘The Bomber’ Carthy from Dublin’s inner city who fights on Saturday night’s undercard against Dan ‘The Reaper’ Garber.

Lot’s of Carthy’s fans wore matching “No Carthy, no Party” T-shirts as did Carthy when he took to the ring for a sparring bout. He has fought six times to date without loss.

His mother, Helen Carthy, will be there on Saturday night in the 3Arena. “I have a ticket, but I’ll run out when he’s on. I’m too nervous,” she said. “He’s very popular around the area. He has a big fan base.”

There were also many there for Gary Cully (27) whose lightweight bout against Jose Felix Jr is one of the highlights of Saturday night’s undercard.

Amber Allen and Lacey Boyce were given the morning off school in St Peter Apostle national school in Neilstown to attend. “He’s a brilliant boxer. He’s very humble and he supports the community,” said Ms Allen.

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times