OLYMPIC GOLD medallist Katie Taylor has said she will decide within weeks whether to turn professional or remain an amateur boxer.
The Irish Times
reported that her father Peter confirmed he is meeting US and UK promoters today to discuss his daughter’s future.
Speaking after a civic reception in Dublin city centre yesterday, Taylor confirmed she will continue boxing until at least 2016, when the next Olympics are staged, but said she was still undecided about a move into the professional game.
“I’m definitely not going to retire but whether I go pro or not, I simply don’t know. I will make that decision in the next few weeks,” she said
At the Government reception in Farmleigh House hours later, Mr Taylor said he and Katie loved amateur boxing but she had “won everything” in that discipline and they were thinking about challenges rather than money.
“We’re talking to the professional promoters . . . We’d love to stay for Rio de Janeiro as well,” he said.
“My preference would be for Katie to stop altogether but Katie’s made the choice she wants to carry on boxing. We’ll support her 100 per cent. So we’ve talks tomorrow and we’ll see where that leads.”
Mr Taylor said they would also hold talks with the Sports Council. which had been “so good to us” over the past few years before female boxing became an Olympic sport. “We’re not just going to walk away from them like that,” he said.
While he said “it’s not about money”, financing was relevant to the extent that “you need money to be able to sustain an athlete’s lifestyle. The money has to keep coming [and] the coaching staff has to stay with the boxers as well”.
When asked if she would consider a move to the US to pursue a professional career, Taylor said she would be reluctant to take such a step, at least permanently.
“The truth is I am a bit of a homebird and I would find it very difficult to leave home,” she said.
Bernard O’Neill of the Irish Amateur Boxing Association said while it would be a great pity to lose the boxer to the professional ranks, whatever choice she made would be respected by all supporters of the sport in Ireland. “She would be a huge draw in the US, undoubtedly,” Mr O’Neill said. “Quite literally you would be talking about the Million Dollar Baby,” he added in reference to the Clint Eastwood Oscar-winning film of the same name.