Kellie and Katie to duke it out for top boxing award

by Gazette Reporter
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Jonny Stapleton 

DUBLIN’S Kellie Harrington looks set to duke it out with Wicklow’s Katie Taylor for the Irish Boxing Awards Irish Boxer of the Year prize.

The two Olympic gold medal-winning lightweights have been nominated for the gong alongside Belfast’s Lewis Crocker, fellow Olympic medal winner Michael Conlan and Finglas’s Jono ‘King Kong’ Carroll (right).

Considering the standout success of both women it appears as if it will be a two-horse race, meaning we will get to see some form of contest between the two Irish greats, who were continuously linked before the Portland Row star revealed she would remain amateur.

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Ireland’s most marketable athlete Harrington’s nomination comes after she lifted the nation with her performances in Tokyo. Having battled back from injury to reach the Olympics, the St Mary’s BC fighter beat Italy’s Rebecca Nicoli, Algeria’s Imane Khelif, and Thailand’s Sudaporn Seesondee to reach the gold medal bout where she overcame fellow World Champion and #1 seed,  Beatriz Ferreira of Brazil in a classic final.

Ireland’s Most Admired Athlete Taylor, Dub Harrington’s main rival for the award, extended her stay at the top of the female pound-for-pound rankings by defending her Undisputed status and her four lightweight straps on three occasions in 2021. Her victorious year included a successful rematch of her record-breaking London 2012 fight with Natasha Jonas.

A Dublin fighter is also in contention for the Knockout of the Year award. 

15 March 2019; Jono Carroll during his International Boxing Federation World Super Featherweight title bout against Tevin Farmer at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, USA. Photo by Stephen McCarthy / Sportsfile

The aptly named Pierce ‘Big Bang ‘ O’Leary, who was the only Dub mentioned in Prospect of the Year talk, has been nominated alongside  Mike Perez, Gary Cully, Paddy Donovan and Thomas O’Toole in everyone’s favourite category.

Crumlin’s Robbie Burke is the sole fighter from the capital among the Fight of the Year nominees. 

Clondalkin duo Dylan Wilson and John Carpenter are also nominated for Irish Boxing Awards. 

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