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Mary Hannigan: Lessons in defeat will shape Katie Taylor’s response to homecoming loss

Wexford’s decline may bring Leinster championships to its knees; and racism rears its ugly head in Spanish football yet again

We’ve become so accustomed to Katie Taylor winning through the years, it’s easy enough to forget that she’s had a sprinkling of defeats to overcome too. Johnny Watterson recalls her saying back in 2012 that she learned more from those losses than she ever did from her victories, lessons she must draw upon again after last Saturday’s defeat to Chantelle Cameron.

There will, most likely, be a rematch against Cameron, but as yet, GAA president Larry McCarthy tells Gordon Manning, there has been no approach from Taylor’s camp about holding it in Croke Park.

He has his doubts that the stadium could be filled for the fight, but Gordon reckons that if Dónal Óg Cusack was appointed as promoter, Croke Park would be bursting at the seams. After all, his promotional abilities were highlighted when he made those derogatory comments about the Tailteann Cup – which “helped generate a level of unexpected commotion around the competition that would get PR companies weak at the knees”.

Joe Canning, meanwhile, worries that the decline of Wexford hurling will bring the Leinster championship to its knees. If they lose to Kilkenny on Sunday, and Antrim beat Westmeath, they’ll be relegated.


The Dublin hurlers are having a better time of it and have “an outside chance of reaching the Leinster final”, which would give them a shot at emulating their 2013 success in the competition. Seán Moran hears David O’Callaghan reminisce about that achievement.

In rugby, John O’Sullivan talks to Munster’s Jean Kleyn ahead of tomorrow’s URC final, while Gerry Thornley hears Caolan Dooley reflect on a memorable season with Terenure College.

Cliona Foley brings us the story of the ‘Big Strong Gorls’, a brand started up just for a bit of fun by the Irish rowing team that won bronze at the last Olympics, but has since taken on a life of its own.

The big strong lad that is Eddie Dunbar had another outstanding day at the Giro d’Italia on Thursday, moving up to fourth overall – Shane Stokes fills us in on his progress.

Elsewhere, Joanne O’Riordan writes about racism rearing its ugly head yet again in Spanish football, this time Real Madrid’s Vinicius Jr suffering abuse from Valencia fans.

And Brian O’Connor looks at the risk of the remodelled Curragh becoming a white elephant as it struggles to fill its 30,000 capacity. The project, he says, “has been bedevilled by a sense it’s little more than a vainglorious exercise by wealthy private investors”.

Telly watch: There are just three stages to go in the Giro d’Italia, and today’s sounds like a doddle – 183km long, with four climbs, finishing with a tortuous ascent up the 2,307 metre-high Tre Cime di Lavaredo (Eurosport, 10.0-4.45). Later, TG4 have deferred coverage (from 7.20) of the Connacht minor football final between Galway and Mayo (kick-off 7.0), while RTÉ2 has the Airtricity League meeting of Bohemians and Shelbourne (kick-off 7.45).