By Ed Leahy
Katie Taylor has confirmed that she will remain an amateur boxer and defend her title at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The Olympic gold medallist was considering a move to the professional ranks but the Bray native said two weeks ago that she would like to defend her Olympic title - and she has now officially pledged her future to the amateur ranks.
In a statement to RTÉ, her father and coach Pete Taylor said they had been looking at it for the last few weeks and Katie wanted to stay amateur.
He said she has made the decision in spite of lucrative offers to turn pro and that money was never their goal.
Speaking on Today FM this morning, Taylor admitted that a lot of thought went into the decision and turned down some big money deals to move into the professional ranks following her victory at London’s ExCel Arena in August.
"For me there is nothing better than boxing for my country" - Katie Taylor
“I’ve been offered a few professional contracts...in the hundreds and thousands,” said Taylor.
“The thing with professional boxing is you have to have the right promoter and the right fights. 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 a lot harder than to win a professional world title.
“For me there is nothing better than boxing for my country and bringing home medals for my country.”
Taylor admitted that she still has not watched the gold medal winning fight, where she defeated arch rival Russian Sofya Ochigava in London.
Taylor said: “I still haven’t watched it back. I’ve seen a few clips but I haven’t watched the full fight back. I never watch my fights back.”
But the four-time world champion has listened to Sean Bán Breathnach’s, now famous, commentary in Irish on RTÉ when the Olympic decision was announced.
“I could listen to that all day,” said Taylor. “Over and over.”