Taylor arranges bout next month

Updated: Thursday, 31 Jan 2013 20:08

Katie Taylor will have her first fight since winning gold at the London 2012 Olympics at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin next month.

The Olympic, World and European champion will meet Poland’s Karolina Graczyk on Finals Night at the Road to Rio 2013 Elite National Championships on 22 February.

Taylor beat Graczyk in the 2011 EU lightweight final in Poland.

The Elite National Championships begin at the National Stadium in Dublin on 8 February.

Taylor’s London 2012 team-mates John Joe Nevin, Paddy Barnes, Michael Conlan, Adam Nolan and Darren O’Neill will all be defending their titles at the National Stadium and Citywest.

The 2013 National Elite Championships will mark the first occasion that the entire Irish Olympic boxing squad are competing at the same tournament since winning one gold, one silver and two bronze medals and finishing in fifth spot in the medals table at London 2012.

Meanwhile, 2010 and 2008 AIBA World Youth champions Joe Ward and Ray Moylette, the current European light-heavyweight and light-welterweight champions, will also be competing at the 2013 Elite Championships.

Ward will be aiming for his third straight Irish title this season.

The power-punching Moate BC southpaw beat 2008 Olympic silver medallist Ken Egan – reversals which denied Egan an unprecedented 11th Irish title – in the last two Elite light-heavyweight finals.

He said: “My Irish title is very important to me. I will have one last fight this weekend in the World Series of Boxing and hopefully I can get a win in Italy on Saturday night, that would be a good boost for the Elite Championships.

“Everything is going well for me. My training has gone great and I’m feeling sharp and fit.

"I've done all the road work, the pad work, everything. The World Series will give me the opportunity to get a competitive bout under my belt and then all my focus will be on defending my Irish title.”