Sadie Duffy, from Buncrana, has been refereeing some of Ireland’s biggest boxing names since she first became a referee in 1997.
Sadie has become good friends with the Bray golden girl after refereeing a number of her bouts over the years.
But she said that while boxing in Ireland has changed in recent years, more work still needs to be done to get girls into the ring.
“Women’s boxing has come on so much in Ireland and that is down so much to Katie Taylor.
“But it still needs plenty of encouragement. It has always been a man’s sport but that is changing.
“I just hope now that with Katie’s magnificent win some of Ireland’s more ‘experienced’ coaches can finally see what women’s boxing has to offer.
“Gender should never be an issue. It should only be seen as two athletes in the ring,” she said.
Sadie, who is a member of the Illies Golden Gloves Club, has travelled the world both refereeing and managing boxers.
Ironically it was because of a man that Sadie first became interested in boxing.
Her husband Eddie, now a coach with Illies Golden Gloves, used to box and Sadie would attend his bouts.
But instead of taking a back seat Sadie decided she had better get involved if she wanted to see more of her then boyfriend.
“Instead of taking a back seat I decided I would like to get involved. I did a six week course with the Derry County Board and continued from there.
“I had to do various exams and I eventually qualified in 1997 when I refereed my first bout at St Canice’s Club in Derry,” she said.
Sadie said she was delighted to watch Katie eventually realise her goal and win an Olympic title.
“If anyone deserved to fulfill their dream then it’s Katie.
“She is the nicest and most modest girl you could meet. Nobody will ever realise what she has done for sport in Ireland.
“She has a lovely family and I am so delighted for them all that Katie’s dream has become a reality,” added Sadie.Tags: