Taylor sees the pros of staying amateur
BOXING: TYPICALLY KATIE Taylor didn’t know much about the details of the offers to turn professional yesterday, or seem that much interested in the financial side of her ballooning career. There is a lucrative commercial reality to the Irish gold medallist but it has never been the principle motivating factor in her life or her boxing.
“I’m not too sure, I’ve been offered a few contracts . . . hundreds of thousands,” she said yesterday on Today FM radio. Oscar De La Hoya, the 10-times world professional champion and the smiling face of Golden Boy Promotions, was one name mentioned in the aftermath of her gold medal win at London 2012.
But the good news for amateur boxing is that the Olympic lightweight champion has decided to remain in the amateur ranks – a confusing title as amateur boxers now earn money through state funding, sponsors, win bonuses and prize money. Taylor will not sign professional papers and hopes to defend her Olympic title in Rio 2016.
Now 26 she is looking towards next year’s European Championships, for which the venue has yet to be decided and after that the World Championships in Canada in 2014.
“In amateur boxing you’re just entered into a competition,” she said.
“To be the best, you have to beat the best in these competitions and there’s no waiting around to get the fights organised. To win an amateur world title is a lot harder than winning a professional world title.
“Boxing for my country, there’s nothing better than that really and bringing home medals for my country,” she said. “I’m going to stay amateur and hopefully I’ll defend my title in Rio in four years time.”
The International Boxing Association (AIBA) is set drop head guards for elite men ahead of the Rio 2016, although they will remain in place for both female and junior fighters. That move comes after the governing body unanimously passed a motion to end the use of head guards in all of their elite men’s competitions from next year.
“I don’t think the headgear makes a huge difference really,” she added. “But the thing with professional boxing is you have to make sure you get the right promoter, the right fights and it is a cutthroat business as well. You have to make sure you have the right people around you to get those fights and you’re not guaranteed the best fights. It’s a completely different world and I think my family were concerned about that as well.”
Taylor is back training at her club in Bray following a short holiday after the Olympic Games.
“We’re delighted. We feel it is the right decision for her and it’s also great for women’s sport in Ireland. Katie is also the number one boxer in the world and it would have been a set back for the sport had she turned professional,” said a spokesman from the Irish Sports Council.