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Katie Taylor Will Remain In Amateur Ranks

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By Michael O’Neill

Ireland’s 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.

Speaking on the “Ray D’Arcy Show” on ‘Today FM’ 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.”

“In amateur boxing you’re just entered into a competition and to be the best, you have to beat the best in these competitions. You’re not waiting around to get these fights organised.”

Team Taylor received significant professional offers from Irish promoter Brian Peters and Golden Boy Promotions, the U.S organisation led by former 10 times world champion Oscar de la Hoya , and it is understood from at least two other professional operators in UK and in USA.

Malta Boxing News  understands that these offers were worth a significant six figure sum but Taylor’s heart remains in the amateur sport albeit that after Rio she may wish to seek the challenge of the professional game. For now though the professional circuit offers no great challenge to Taylor and there has been a significant decline in interest in recent years especially in the United States.

In recent weeks, Taylor has also been advised 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.

Others though including the influential WBAN’s T.Sue Fox advised her to remain an amateur for at least the next four years and then consider turning pro IF there was a significant improvement in the state of women’s pro boxing worldwide.

Apart from most Irish fans and followers of the sport and of Katie Taylor, 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 promote 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.

In the fullness of time I would see the  AIBA  appoint Taylor as its ambassador to promote womens boxing worldwide and especially in countries like Cuba where it is currently "banned".

Malta Boxing News  also understands from usually reliable sources that the AIBA is now in the process of considering the inclusion of women boxing in its new semi-pro APB circuit ‘ . When the project  reaches  fruition, Taylor, Nicola Adams, Claressa Shields, Mary Kom and others will be able to continue their boxing career under the umbrella of AIBA .

That would mean 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 this of course in addition to the many sponsorships she already has and which are now likely to increase in number.

Though Taylor may well have a significant ambassadorial role to play in the future development of women’s boxing worldwide 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, the 26 yrs old, who has also been capped for Ireland at soccer, over 40 times ,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 sports  journalist Johnny Watterson titled : “Katie Taylor – My Olympic Dream” which is already on pre-order at Amazon worldwide and will be promoted by Simon & Schuster  in many leading bookshops 

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  talks frankly about 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.

It is a special story from a truly remarkable woman and more than likely will be one of the most sought after books on Christmas 'wish lists’

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Malta Boxing News