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Katie Taylor Sets Her Sights On The Road To Rio
by Michael O'Neill
October 19, 2012

(OCT 19) Ireland’s 60kg, Olympic Gold medallist, five times European and four times World Champion Katie Taylor today confirmed that she will remain an amateur and hopes to defend her Olympic title in Rio.

Image: Courtesy Simon & Schuster

Taylor was in no hurry to make a decision, quietly summing up the pros and cons of a professional career as against remaining an amateur. According to ‘usually reliable sources’ she turned down several lucrative offers from promoters in Ireland, the UK and the United States among them Oscar de la Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions and Ireland’s Brian Peters Promotions as well as two UK offers. One such offer is said to have been worth ‘hundreds of thousands of Euros’.

Speaking on the “Ray D’Arcy Show” on Ireland’s ‘Today FM’ radio station , the Bray native said: “Boxing for my country, there’s nothing better than that really and bringing home medals for my country”

“I’m going to stay amateur and hopefully I’ll defend my title in Rio in four years’ time.”

“I don’t think a day went by that I didn’t think of being an Olympic champion when I was growing up” In recent weeks, Taylor has been strongly urged by former world Heavyweight champion Mike Tyson to turn pro as well as by former Irish boxer, Deirdre Gogarty, one of Taylor’s childhood heroines, and current professional champions Anne-Sophie Mathis and Holly Holm. Several other male champions also gave her that advice.

Equally she also was very much aware of advice from those who felt that she should wait another four years . Here on wban.com our view was that now was not the time to turn Pro, and we recommended she remain an amateur until after Rio and then see if the current climate had changed

with perhaps more Olympians, from London and from Rio, also having joined in the meantime, thus resulting in better purses.

Today she also added: "In professional boxing you are always so concerned about getting the right fights and the right promoters".

"There's so much more to the professional game whereas in amateur boxing you enter competitions where you have to be the best to beat the best.

"It's such a privilege for me to be staying amateur and hopefully I can bring many more medals back to Ireland.

"The decision to remain as an amateur was entirely down to me. I was offered a few contracts which I had to consider carefully as boxing is a short career and you have to make the most of it.

"But for me no amount of money in the world can compare to boxing for your country. It is such an honour for me to wear the Irish vest and that was pretty much it for me."

“The thing with professional boxing is you have to have the right promoter and the right fights, she later told Sky Sports TV in UK. It is a cut-throat business. You have to make sure you have the right people around you to get the right fights and you’re not guaranteed to get the best fights.

“With amateur boxing, you’re just entered into a competition. And to be the best you’ve got to beat the best. You’re not waiting around to get these fights organised.

“As an amateur you might be fighting five or six times in a week and you have to make the weight all week. It’s gruelling on the body. So to win an amateur world title is sometimes a lot harder than to win a professional world title”.

Today’s announcement will be particularly well received by the AIBA especially its President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu who has always been highly appreciative of the behind the scenes promotional work done by Taylor to encourage women’s boxing worldwide. Only last week Taylor was chosen as the AIBA Female Boxer of the Year for a record third time in a row.

Wban.com understands that the AIBA is now in the process of considering the inclusion of women boxing in APB - the new semi-pro event being introduced for male boxers in 2013. When the project is in its fruition, Taylor, Nicola Adams, Claressa Shields, Mary Kom and others ‘ will be able to continue their boxing career under the umbrella of AIBA, if they so wish . That means that not only would they be free to continue representing their country in events such as the Olympic Games and World Championships but they would also be paid for their efforts in the ring with Taylor arguably being one of its highest earners . A Women's APB event is unlikely though to be in place before 2014.

Meanwhile it is thought likely that Taylor may be invited to play a significant ‘Ambassadorial role’ in the future development of women’s boxing worldwide but for now she is back in training and hopes to have a pre-Christmas bout in Ireland and then seek the Irish Elite title in February.

In mid-November, Taylor will be one of only 12 Elite Athletes starring in “FIRST ” the official Olympics film whilst on 31st October , the world’s fifth largest publisher, Simon& Schuster are launching a new book written by Taylor in conjunction with Irish journalist Johnny Watterson named : “ Katie Taylor – My Olympic Dream” which is already on pre-order at Amazon worldwide and is likely to be a big “Christmas hit” in the bookstores especially in Ireland and in the United Kingdom.

In the book, the Bray woman will reveal that when she was chosen to bear the Irish flag at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics, the pressure was on for her to deliver gold for Ireland when she stepped into the boxing ring. It was the first time that the Olympics had included women’s boxing as one of its events, and Taylor knew she had to deliver. She had won gold in the World Amateur Championships four times since 2006, but this was the biggest tournament of her career.

Taylor reveals how she trained and prepared for the Olympics, and explains what got her into boxing in the first place. A committed Christian, she trusted in her faith to see her through the toughest challenges. With the whole nation willing her on, and her home town of Bray having ground to a halt, on 9 August she fulfilled her Olympic dream, winning gold in a close-fought contest. And a nation celebrated with her. Taylor relives these glorious moments, and looks back on the triumph that changed her life forever.

The former Irish international football star , will now be aiming for her 6th,5th and 2nd – all in-a-row – titles at the 2013 European Championships, the 2014 AIBA World Women’s Championship in Canada and 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Tommy Murphy, President of the Irish Amateur Boxing Association, said tonight that they were delighted with the announcement.

“We are very happy that Katie has made this decision, very much so. Katie’s record speaks for itself” , he said.

“Katie is a fantastic ambassador for the sport inside and outside the ring and more and more young females are becoming involved in boxing because of her tremendous influence.

“Hopefully, if Katie qualifies for the Rio Olympics there will be other female boxers on the Irish team with her in 2016.”

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