People talk about the Katie Taylor effect on girls in boxing today, but you need to spend an evening ring-side watching young girls boxing to really understand that phrase. Boxing coach Liam Brereton has been working with girls for years, and is seeing the results today.
Team Ireland and Team Italy at schoolgirl level faced each other one sunny evening in July. I knew Liam from his Twitter account but we’d never met so I thought this was a good excuse to see the set-up and get some fights in.
I have to say though, I wasn’t expecting the level of skill and talent on show for the night. It was great, and an exciting demonstration that the old days are gone forever. In fact, when I chatted to some of the girls afterwards they were so accepting and normal of the night that you realised the genie really can’t go back in the bottle here.
They talked about Katie Taylor of course, but also Kelly Harrington (world champion in 2018), Grainne Walsh, Michaela Walsh and their peers. They were looking around at each other, wondering who is going to make the break, to get on the Irish senior team when they’re older.
The gym itself in Edenderry is well-worth a visit too for anyone serious about their boxing training. Full-size ring set up downstairs, with dormitories and kitchen facilities upstairs. Next month they’re expecting up to 200 international boxers (all girls) to stay for a camp.