herald

Monday 23 October 2017

Stephanie was robbed of Fifa goal award - boxer Katie Taylor

Katie Taylor pictured at Dublin Airport after arriving home after winning her fifth World Title in Korea
Katie Taylor pictured at Dublin Airport after arriving home after winning her fifth World Title in Korea
Stephanie Roche
Katie Taylor

SHE might be nursing a wrist injury, but boxing champion Katie Taylor insists she's still "hard to beat" as she sets her sights on qualifying for next year's Olympics.

The world champion admitted she thinks soccer star Stephanie Roche was robbed of the Fifa Puskas Award earlier this year after she lost out to James Rodriguez.

"Genuinely I felt that she had the best goal and I'm not just saying that because she's a woman," she said.

The gold medallist (28) has revealed that she's still training twice a day, six days a week despite damaged ligaments in her left wrist, and is looking forward to getting back in the ring at this year's first ever European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan.

With the all important competition just 99 days away, the Bray native is fighting fit.

"It's very intense coming up to these games with less than 100 days to go and I'm feeling really strong," she told the Herald.

"I still have a bit of a wrist injury but it's coming together nicely and it's not going to be a problem for me. I just have to be careful.

"I'm still training twice a day, six times a week.

"This is a ranking tournament for the Olympic qualifiers so I can't wait for it really," she added. "If I perform at my best, I'm going to be pretty hard to beat."

Katie, who is an International Athlete Ambassador for the European Games, is also confident fellow boxers Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlon will take home gold for Ireland in the 2016 Olympics.

"I think Paddy is the best light flyweight in the world by a mile," she said.

"Both him and Michael are in line to win gold in Rio."

Belfast native Paddy, who is currently competing in the World Series of Boxing, is just two wins shy of Olympic qualification.

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Stephanie Roche

Stephanie Roche

The 27-year-old has maintained a clean sheet of victories - despite having to borrow other athlete's gear in order to fight after his kit wasn't put on the plane.

"It was a major setback. I still won, but I just didn't want to be there because I was p****d off over what had happened," he told the Herald.

"I had to fight in shoes that were two sizes too big, I had to wear Michael's (Conlon) protector and I had to borrow a cheap gumshield that kept falling out of my mouth, it was bad."

hnews@herald.ie

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