Kellie Harrington says she would take opportunity to fight undercard for Katie Taylor’s homecoming

Olympic champion would only fight as an amateur boxer

Taylor is lined up to face England’s Chantelle Cameron on May 20th in the 3Arena for the first fight of her professional career in Ireland. Harrington, who won the gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, would be a draw. Photograph: Buda Mendes/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Kellie Harrington said she would take the opportunity to fight on the undercard of Katie Taylor’s homecoming bout if she was asked by Matchroom boxing, the Essex-based company that promotes Taylor’s professional fights.

Speaking at the launch of the €60,000 SPAR 60th Community Fund, the Olympic lightweight champion said she would take any offers to be part of the show but that she would only fight as an amateur boxer, not as a professional.

As a 22-year-old, Taylor fought on the Dublin under card of Bernard Dunne’s WBA Super bantamweight world title fight against Ricardo Cordoba in 2009.

“I do remember it well. I remember it very well,” said Harrington of Taylor’s appearance. “When you say as an exhibition fight, an amateur exhibition fight.

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“If I was asked, I’d bite the hand off someone to have fight down the road from me gaff. Absolutely like. As an amateur, never as a pro though, always as a an amateur.”

Taylor is lined up to face England’s Chantelle Cameron on May 20th in the 3Arena for the first fight of her professional career in Ireland. Harrington, who won the gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, would be a draw, although, the perceived wisdom is that Taylor will not have difficulty in selling out the 8,000 capacity arena.

Meanwhile, former Irish High Performance Director Bernard Dunne struck gold in his first major championships as head of the Indian women’s boxing team.

India won four gold medals the International Boxing Association (IBA) Women’s World Boxing Championships at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Sports Complex in Delhi equalling its best result of 2006.

Ireland’s Kellie Harrington and former high performance director Bernard Dunne celebrate with her gold medal. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Dunne resigned from his Irish post in May of last year following efforts by members of the Irish Amateur Boxing Association (IABA) to undermine him.

The former professional world champion issued a complaint in writing to the IABA in November 2021 alleging his position had been undermined by an unsigned “SWOT Analysis Position Paper”, claimed to have been written after a survey had been conducted on Irish boxing.

The report was bogus but nobody claimed responsibility and no one was sanctioned by the association.

Dunne joins USA team coach Billy Walsh as two of Ireland’s top boxing coaches now working for competing countries following bitter conflicts with the Irish organisation.

Both Dunne and Walsh may find themselves competing directly against Ireland over the coming year as teams begin to qualify for and compete in the Paris Olympics Games 2024.

Dunne was confirmed as the head of India’s high-performance boxing in October of last year and currently resides there.

Ireland and the USA as well as a number of other countries did not compete in the women’s World Championships, which ended last weekend, due to a continuance of the issues they have had with the International Boxing Association and its lack of governance and transparency.

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson is a sports writer with The Irish Times