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Olympics

Is Katie Taylor v Kellie Harrington now inevitable? | Eric Donovan

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

21:12 9 Aug 2021


As Kellie Harrington gets used to life as an Olympic champion, Eric Donovan joined us to discuss her triumph - and the prospects of a fight against Katie Taylor.

Eric began by praising Harrington's 'mental fortitude' as she found the first round against Brazil's Beatriz Ferreira going against her.

"Her chin was tested, her character was tested, her whole mental fortitude was tested in that moment. She never broke. She never stopped believing.

"She never stopped trusting her game plan and trusting that she would get a foothold in the fight. Then around one minute left in the first round, she started to fight her rhythm.

"Early in the fight she was changing from southpaw to orthodox, and you know when she's changing too much. You know she's a little unsure. When she's changing constantly you know she's not settled in a fight.

"With about a minute to go in the first round, she settled and started landing for shots and finding her target."

Kellie Harrington v Katie Taylor

As the result went Harrington's way, the delirium has led many to think that a fight with fellow Irish Olympic champion Katie Taylor may be on the cards.

"There are a few people that have said to me already: 'a no brainer - Katie Taylor v Kellie Harrington, it has to happen.' They're talking about Croke Park, they are getting ahead of themselves," Donovan said.

"There is no doubt that that fight would sell out any arena. But for me, personally, I wouldn't like to see it. They are two absolutely wonderful human beings who have revolutionised women's boxing around the world and here in Ireland.

"Both have cemented their own legacy in their own right. I love the both of them and would hate to see them squaring up against each other."

Zaur soars

Much of the credit for Irish boxing's reimagining has gone the way of Georgian coach Zaur Antia.

Donovan remembers Antia's arrival and his impact on the Ireland team.

"I remember when Zaur came in first. He had an 'audition', he couldn't speak a word of English, so he could only demonstrate what he knew.

"He took the lads in Dublin for a training session, and took them to the middle of the floor. They just had to follow suit and do what he does.

"Roy Sheehan was there, and I said 'Roy, what's that new coach like?' I was curious to find out, and Roy said 'He's absolutely unreal, and guess what - he had a photograph of you!'

"What happened was that I was in the European Championships in 2000 as a schoolboy and I happened to be in a photograph against one of Zaur's boxers, a Jordanian lad. When Zaur went off to Ireland, his young boxer had given him the photograph.

"The impact that he had - he couldn't speak English but what he could demonstrate won him the job. Southpaw, orthodox, skills.

"Up until that point, at 17, I felt I knew a lot about boxing - I knew absolutely nothing!"

Indeed are proud to support Team Ireland at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Indeed believes the world works better when people are given every opportunity to unleash their true talents. #TalentUnleashed

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