Taylor wins Gold for Ireland! Next up: Belfast’s Barnes

Katie Taylor: Ireland’s finest; Olympic Champion

One of the few forces in London to rival the power of our 132 pound five times* World Champion has been the unrestrained guttural roar of her crowd. SportsIllustrated has been caught off guard almost as much by the ferocity of her followers as by the technical excellence of the Irish champion they’ve described as “virtually unbeatable

“Katie Taylor popped out of the tunnel and, suddenly, you couldn’t hear your mother if she was standing in front of you with a bullhorn.”

Taylor’s a class act who’s apparently subsumed all the fight that’s drained from Ireland’s governing class. And that’s just in her left hand.

Next up is Belfast’s Paddy Barnes who’s facing a daunting semi-final test against China’s Zou Shiming. Barnes, as the BelTel reminded us, has already established himself “as only the second Irish athlete (and the first boxer) to medal at different  Olympiads”

Good luck Paddy!

Well done Katie! Tremendous!

Update: Barnes went on to life a Bronze for Ireland. In one of the closest boxing bouts in the Olympics, it took a countback to separate rate Barners from his victor, China’s Zou Shiming.

*Correction: The cited SportsIllustrated piece reported Taylor thus: “She is a five-time world champion, a four-time European champion with around 150-plus amateur fights.” As one commentator rights points out below, Taylor is actually 4 times world champion.