By Micil Glennon
Ireland’s Olympic gold medallist Katie Taylor has given the strongest indication yet that she intends to stay amateur and defend her title in Brazil in 2016.
Speaking to RTÉ Sport, Taylor said: “I really would love to box for my country again and bring home another gold medal in four years’ time.
“I absolutely love amateur boxing, and if I was given the opportunity again I’d love to stay amateur and try to defend my title.”
Even before winning the gold medal in the lightweight division in London, there was constant speculation that the Bray fighter would turn to the professional ranks.
But that prospect appears to be dimming as Taylor pointed out that her heart lies in the amateur game.
“Professional boxing is really a cut-throat business. There are so many other aspects to it. I’ve been offered a few lovely contracts and a few not really nice contracts, but I am not really too sure about it to be honest whether the fights are out there for me," she said.
"My da has been in contact with the Sports Council ... I think we’re close to signing a contract with them over the next few days" - Katie Taylor
“You have to make sure you get the right promoter and the right fights, there’s just so much more to it whereas amateur you’re just in a tournament.
"You have to beat the best to be the best. You can’t pick and choose your fights.
“My da has been in contact with the Sports Council over the last couple of weeks and I think we’re close to signing a contract with them over the next few days.
"It would be an absolute privilege for me to defend my title and try to qualify, and hopefully we’ll be hearing Amhrán na bhFiann again," added the 26-year-old.
In the build-up to the Olympics, Taylor and her coach and father, Peter, dismissed all talk of pressure.
The suggestion, instead, was that with four World and five European titles already to her name, all of the pressure was on her opponents.
But Taylor admitted that by the time the final against Russia's Sofya Ochigava came around, she had to deal with a certain level of expectation.
“I suppose I did [feel pressure] when I was over there. I had the weight of the nation on my shoulders going over there. Everyone expected me to do so well, but at the same time it is a privilege to be in that situation,” she said.